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THE MAMELUKE 

OR SLAVE 

DYNASTY OF EGYPT 

1260-15 17 A.D. 



Works by Sir William Muir. 



THE LIFE OF MAHOMET. From Original Sources. Third 
Edition, thoroughly Revised. With a New Map and several additional 
Illustrations. Svo, i6s. 

London: SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 Waterloo Place. 



MAHOMET AND ISLAM. A Sketch of the Prophet's Life, from 
original sources, and a brief outline of his Religion. With Illustrations 
and a large Map of Arabia. Crown Svo, 2s. 6d. cloth boards. 

THE CALIPH A TE : Its Rise, Decline, and Fall. New and Revised 
Edition. With Three Maps. Demy Svo, los. 6d. cloth. 

THE RISE AND DECLINE OF ISLAM. Present Day Tract. 

No. 14. 4d. 

THE LORD'S SUPPER : An Abiding Witness to tlie Death of Christ. 
Present Day Tract. No. 36. 4d. 

SWEET FIRST-FRUITS. A Tale of the Nineteenth Century, 
on the Truth and Virtue of the Christian Religion. Translated from the 
Arabic, and abridged. With an Introduction by Sir William Muir, 
K.C. S. I. Crown Svo, 2s. 6d. cloth boards. 

THE BEACON OF TRUTH ; or. Testimony of the Co ran to the 
Truth of the Christian Religion. Translated from the Arabic by Sir 
Wii.LiAiM Muir, K. C.S.I. Crown Svo, 2s. 6d. cloth boards. 



THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY, 56 Paternoster Row, London. 



THE CORAN : Its Composition afid Teaching, and the Testimony it 
bears to the Holy Scriptures. By Sir William Muir, K. C.S.I. New 
Edition, Revised. Fcap. Svo, 2s. 6d. 



London: SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. 



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THE MAMELUKE 

OR SLAVE 

DYNASTY OF EGYPT 

I260-1517 A.D. 



SIR WILLIAM MUIR, K.C.S.I., LL.D., D.C.L. 
Ph.D. (Bologna) 

AUTHOR OF "THE LIFE OF MAHOMET" "MAHOMET AND ISLAM" 
"THE CALIPHATE," ETC. 



LONDON: 
SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE. 

1896. 

[A /I rights reserved. \ 



76^ - 

M 7 55 




MORRISOK AND GIBB, PRINTEKS, EDINBURGH 



CONTENTS 



YEAR A.D. 

Preface 
1097-1291. Introduction —The Crusades 



CHAPTER I 
640-1170. Egypt and the Mamelukes 

CHAPTER II 

1171-1260. The Eyyubite Dynasty, and Sultanates of 
Eybek and Kotuz .... 



MAMELUKE DYNASTY 

PART FIEST 

BAHRITE DYNASTY 

CHAPTER III 
r^ 1260-1277. Beibars ...... 13 

■ ^ 
^ CHAPTER IV 

0] 1277-1290. Sa!d— KiLAWUN ..... 33 

^ CHAPTER V 



1290-1293. KhalIl, Son of Kilawun . . . .43 

^ CHAPTER VI 

mn 1293-1299. Nasir, Son of Kilawun — Ketbocha — LachIn . 47 



JAN ! / 1960' 



vi CONTENTS 

YBARA.D. _ P-^«« 

CHAPTER VII 
1299-1310. NSsir's Second Reign— Beibars ii . .53 

CHAPTER VIII 
1310-1341. Nasir's Third Reign . . . .66 

CHAPTER IX 
1341-1382. NXsir's Sons and Grandsons . . . 86 



PAET SECOND 

GIR GA SSI A N D YNA STY 

CHAPTER X 
1382-1399. Berkuck al Zahir . . . . .105 

CHAPTER XI 
The Osjianly Dynasty . . .117 

CHAPTER XII 
1399-1412. Faraj . . .121 

CHAPTER XIII 
1412-1421. Abbas Caliph— Sheikh al Mueyyad . 129 

CHAPTER XIV 

1421-1438. Ahmed — TatAr ^ ^Mohammed — Bursbai al 

ASHRAP ...... 137 

CHAPTER XV 
1438-1453. YusuF— Jakmac al Zahir . . . .149 

CHAPTER XVI 
1453-1461. Othman— Inal . . . .156 



CONTENTS VU 

YEAR A.D. PAGE 

CHAPTER XVII 
1461-1467. Ahmed — Khushcadam .... 163 

CHAPTER XVIII 
1467-1496. Jelbai— TiMURBOGA— Kaitbai . . .172 

CHAPTER XIX 

1496-1501. Al NisiR Mohammed ii. — Kansowah al Ashrafy 

— JIn Belat — Tumakbai . . . 182 

CHAPTER XX 
1501-1516. Kansowa al Ghury . . . .187 

CHAPTER XXI 
1516-1517. Tumanbeg ...... 202 

CHAPTER XXII 
1517. Sultan Selim and the Caliph Mutawakkil . 210 

CHAPTER XXIII 
The Mameluke Race .... 215 



APPENDIXES 

I. — The Mamelukes under Osmanly Rule . . 223 
II. — Memorandum by H.E. Yacoub Artin Pasha on the 

Mamelukes ...... 225 

Index ........ 233 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIOlsrS 



MAP OF SYRIA AND ASIA MINOR 



Faces f. xiii 



THE IWAN, PAVILION OK HALL OF nIsIR MOHAMMED IBN 

KILAWUN, AS IN 1798 A.D. . . . Frontispiece 

CITADEL (as IN 1798 A.D.) FROM S.E. . . FaCCS p. 1 

CITADEL (as in 1798 A.D.) ; THE RUMEILAH GATE . . „ 13 

MINARET OVER MOSQUE OP nSsIR IBN KILAWUN . . „ 84 

MOSQUE AND TOMB OF SULTAN HASAN, SON OF NASIR , „ 96 

TOMB OF BEKKUCK . . . . . . „ 116 

TOMB OP BURSBAI AL ASHRAF . . . . „ 148 

MINARET OP SULTAN INAL's TOMB . . . . „ 162 

THE CITADEL ; FROM THE MOKATTAM HILJ- . . . ,, 214 



STOOL OR STAND OF BRONZE, INLAID AND EMBROIDERED 
WITH SILVER, FOUND IN nXsIR IBN KILAWUN's MOSQUE, 
AND SUPPOSED TO BE OF HIS AGE. PRESERVED IN 
CAIRO MUSEUM ...... 

TOP OF THE STOOL IN PREVIOUS PICTURE 



„ 222 
„ 222 



TOP OP A STOOL, INLAID WITH SILVER, FOUND IN THE 
MOSQUE OF SHABAN, SON OP nXsIR, AND PRESERVED 
IN CAIRO MUSEUM . . . . . „ 222 



PREFACE 



The present volume contains a survey of the Mameluke 
dynasty, which, begun under Beibars, a.d. 1260, was 
brought to a close by the Ottoman Sultan Selim in 
1517 A.D. The work also completes the history of the 
Abbaside Caliphate down to the assumption of the title 
by the Osmanly Sultanate. 

At the outset, I gladly acknowledge my obligations to 
the late Dr. Weil. For the materials of this history I am 
mainly indebted to the last two volumes of his great work 
Gcschichte der Chalifen. These materials are rich and full ; 
for with vast skill and labour that learned writer not only 
quotes his authorities as he goes along, but as a rule gives 
all that is most important in his Authors' very words. 

The greater part of these authorities were accessible 
to Dr. Weil only in rare Arabic MSS., which were, with 
marvellous industry, sought out by him in the libraries of 
Gotha, Munich, Berlin, Leyden and Paris. Excepting the 
last fifty years of the Dynasty (for which we are mainly 
dependent on Ibn Ayas and Turkish writers) the history 
is supported by a singular concurrence of contemporary 
writers, the chief of these being — 

Abulfeda born 1273; died 1331 a.d. 

Noweiry „ 1280; „ 1332 „ 

Ibn Batuta „ 1302; „ 1377 „ 



X 




PREFACE 






Macrizy 


born 


(1358 or 
1 1364; 


died 


1441 A.D. 


Abul Mahasin 


„ 


1409; 


,, 


1470 „ 


Ibii Ayas 


)> 


1448; 


., 


1524 „ 



and a dozen others. But the chief authorities are the last 
three given above. 

Part of Macrizy, the great historian both of his own 
and preceding times, has been translated into French by 
M. Quatremere •* ; and the work is all the more valuable, 
because many of the more important passages are repro- 
duced as notes in the original Arabic. Macrizy (so called 
from the quarter in Baalbec from which his family 
originally came) was himself a native of Egypt. He 
held office in the Cairo police, and was also Superintendent 
of an endowment in Damascus. His copious writings are 
universally held in high esteem, the annals of past times 
being marked by industrious research and historical judg- 
ment ; while for his own day he is an unexceptionable and 
impartial witness. 

Abul Mahasin who survived Macrizy some thirty years 
was the son of the Emir Tagri Berdy, a Greek Mameluke of 
Sultan Berkuck. His father played a prominent part in 
the fortunes of Sultan Faraj ; and on one occasion was 
pardoned at the intercession of that Prince's mother, 
herself originally a Greek slave-girl. Abul Mahasin as a 
copious Author of high intelligence is widely relied on ; 
and his continuation of Macrizy is especially valuable. 
He was a favourite at Court ; and although on that 
account his judgment may be occasionally biassed, his 
testimony otherwise as a contemporaneous witness is 
beyond question. 

Ibn Ayas is the writer we have mainly to rely upon 

^ A portion published by the Oriental TransLatiou Fund. Two 
parts. Paris, 1837 and 1840. 



PREFACE XI 

for the concluding period of the Dynasty. As he survived 
its fall, his work supplies contemporary and invaluable 
information at a time when other authorities fail/ 

The following is Dr. Weil's opinion of his History, 
as given in the Preface to the Fifth Volume — 

This volume, like the last, is devoted chiefly to the history of 
Egypt and Syria. But the reader will find much also relating to 
the border Asiatic States, as the dynasties of Timur, Osman, the 
White and Black Weir, the Beni Dulgadir and Karaman, and 
the Shereef of Mecca ; as well as fresh insight into the relations 
of the Mameluke Sultans with Ehodes and Cyprus, Portugal, 
Venice, the Papacy, and other European States. 

I am well aware that there are many things which yet require 
fuller detail and explanation than the sources at my command 
enable me to give. Gaps might have been filled up by con- 
jecture, and the whole grandly rounded off as History. My 
object, however, has not been to frame an elaborate work like 
that, but in simple form to bring to light events and narratives 
hitherto for the greater part inrknown, which had moreover to be 
gathered from many scattered manuscripts, and then subjected to 
critical analysis. The kind Eeader will make allowances for the 
difficulty of such a task ; nor will he expect from the Orientalist 
who has had to draw such new materials from their fountain- 
head, the same finished work as he would from the Historian who 
has found them all complete and ready to his hand. 

If such be the humble view of his own work taken 
by the Author whose materials I have mainly depended 
on, how much greater cause there is for me to beg for 
kindly consideration at my Ptcaders' hands. The only 
value I can place upon the present endeavour, is that it 
seeks to supply a want in our own language, — a gap, 

^ Ibn Ayas has been published at Cairo iu three volumes. I 
obtained a copy of it by Artin Pasha's kindness ; but not until this 
work had been completed ; so that I liave hardly been able to take 
any advantage of it. 



XU PREFACE 

namely, in the history of a period of special interest, 
touching as it does the close of the Crusades, and em- 
bracing a Dynasty of slave Sultans unique in the annals 
of the world. 

As the Mameluke dynasty follows close upon the steps 
of Saladin and his Successors, — grew in fact out of the 
Eyyubite Sultanate, — it is thus immediately associated 
with the last days of the Crusades. To illustrate this 
connection, I have ventured to place as an introduction 
to the history, part of a Lecture containing a chronological 
outline of the protracted struggle of the " Soldiers of the 
Cross," and of its final issue. The Reader may perhaps 
find it useful at the outset as explaining the origin and 
rise of the Leaders who were finally to crush the expiring 
efforts of that great armament of misguided Christianity. 

The Eiuyclopfcdia Britannica has an able article on 
Egypt which is especially valuable with reference to the 
latter days and fate of the Mameluke race. The French 
Archpeological Mission has also published several excellent 
numbers on the period under consideration, with beautiful 
illustrations, of which I have ventured to borrow some. 
There is also an interesting hrochurc by M. Max Herz 
on the Cairo Museum, with an illustrated description of 
its archreological contents. 

Lastly I have to express my thanks to H.E. Yacoub 
Artin Pasha for publications regarding Cairo and the 
Mameluke dynasty, and for photographs of ancient build- 
ings of which specimens are introduced into this Volume ; 
and above all for the interesting Memorandum on the habits 
of the Mamelukes, which will be found as Appendix II. 
at the end of the book. 

W. M. 

Edinburgh University, 1895. 




London: Sniiiii Elder & C 



Zondon Stanford. 's Oeog'- Estaif- 



INTRODUCTION 



A BKIEF HISTOEICAL SKETCH OF THE CRUSADES 

{Taken from a Lecture delivered to the Students of the 
Edinburgh University in 1894.) 

Ix the Preface to the Bise, Decline, and Fall of the Caliphate 
is the following paragraph :• — - 

I may be permitted here to lament the want of any full and 
standard work in our own language on the Crusades, and on the 
Mameluke dynasty and its overthrow by the Osmanlies, — chapters 
not only deeply interesting in themselves, hut bound up with the 
interests of the Eastern Churches and development of the j)olitica] 
relations of Europe, Asia, and Egypt. . . 

... I purpose inviting your attention to this subject, 
pointing out the present defect in our literature, indicating 
the sources from which it may be supplied, and offering 
some inducement toward the study. 

In our own language, Gibbon's history of the period — 
bright and instructive as it is, and invested with his own 
peculiar charm — must still be held fragmentary and in- 
complete ; and, like other English, and indeed most 
European authorities, it has been drawn mainly from the 
Western standpoint. The most elaborate, and by far the 
most exhaustive treatise on the subject is by Wilken, in 
eight volumes. No student can pretend to any sufficient 
acquaintance with the history, either in its Asiatic or its 
Western aspect, without a thorough mastery of this great 



XIV INTRODUCTION 

work.^ Still more important in its Oriental bearing is 
Weil's History of the Caliphs^ which at this period (the 
Abbaside Caliphate having declined and almost vanished 
out of sight) is virtually a history of the Eastern Empire, 
— the Seljukes, Mongols, and Mamelukes. The latter half 
of Weil's third volume, and beginning of the fourth, are 
quite essential to the grasp of the successive Crusades as 
affected by the breaking up of the Seljuk house, the 
growth of the Ortok family, the fall of the Eatimide 
Caliphate, and the rise of the Mameluke dynasty. No 
writer has gone so deeply as Weil into the Oriental 
authorities who here are often at variance with the 
Western, or so thoroughly analysed the bearing of the 
Crusades from an Asiatic and Egyptian point of view. 
I therefore recommend any student who would enter on 
this chapter of history, to make himself perfect master 
of all that both Wilken and Weil have to say on the 
subject. 

In an address like the present, which has for its object 
simply to direct attention to the history and results of the 
Crusades, any detailed narrative of the events would be 
altogether out of place. I will therefore confine myself to 
a brief chronological review. . . . The importance of the 
study will come home to us when we remember, First, 
that Jerusalem was held by a Christian king for nearly a 
century ; and Syria by Christian rulers more or less for two 
centuries, that is, from 1097 a.d. to 1291 when Acre fell 
and the Crusaders were swept out of the land ; and Second, 
when we take note of the vast multitudes which for two 
hundred years poured steadily into Palestine, numberiug 
from first to last not less than several millions. The reflex 

^ Ueschiclite dcr Kreuzziige nach MorgenUindisvlien und abendlandischen 
Berichtcn, 1807-1832. I strongly recommend the study of tliese eight 
vohimes, long and laborious though the task may be, to anyone who 
desires complete knowledge of the subject. 

2 Geschichte dcr Chalifen, von Dr. Gustav Weil. First series. 3 
vols., 1846-1851, from the rise of Islam to end of the Abbaside 
Caliphate. The second series covers the Mameluke dynasty till 
conquered by the Osmanlies, vols. iv. and v., 1860-1862. 



THE CRUSADES XV 

influence upon Europe must also be held a matter of the 
highest historical moment. 

The first idea of a Crusade arose out of the desire to 
protect pilgrims resorting to the Holy places there. During 
the tenth and eleventh centuries, there was a marked 
increase in these, partly from the expectation of Christ's 
advent at the close of 1000 years of our Era ; partly, also, 
from the conversion of Bulgaria, which enabled pilgrims, 
avoiding the dangers of a sea voyage, to journey by land to 
Constantinople, and thence by the coast to Palestine. We 
read of one such expedition in the middle of the fourth 
century numbering 7000, of whom but a fourth returned. 
The enormities perpetrated in the Sanctuary by Hakem, 
the insensate demigod of the Eatimides, and afterwards by 
the Seljukes, who took Jerusalem in 1070 a.d., touched the 
heart of Christendom ; while Peter the Hermit, by harrow- 
ing details, roused the passion for vengeance throughout 
every class, down to the lowest dregs of the people. In 1095. 
the vast assemblies at the Councils of Placenza and Cler- 
mont, thousands, both of clergy and laity, were stirred to 
the wildest enthusiasm by the fiery appeal of Pope Urban, 
who promised absolution and heavenly succour to all that 
joined the enterprise, and paradise for such as might fall 
fighting for the Cross. Marvellous was the effect. The 
wild cry, Deus vult, Deus vuli, resounded all around. Men, 
women, and even children, flocked from every quarter to 
be sealed as pilgrims with the sign of the Cross, and 
preparations were forthwith set on foot for contingents 
from every land to meet the following year at Con- 
stantinople, 

Meanwhile, prodigious numbers of the lower classes, " a 1096. 
plebeian multitude," followed in the Hermit and other 
leaders' train, animated by a fierce fanaticism, and, as their 
conduct shortly showed, slaves to rapine as well as to lower 
passions. They marched in several bands through Hungary, 
where their outrageous conduct brought the greater part to 
an untimely end. The first under Walter, and the second 



XVI INTRODUCTION 

A.D. 1096. under Peter, gave themselves up to plunder and riot, and a 
portion only reached Constantinople. Thence, passing into 
Bithynia, they took Nicffia ; but jealousies broke out 
between the various nationalities, and they fell before the 
Turkish arms : " a pyramid of bones " the only relic of 
their misguided zeal. A few thousands were rescued by 
the Kaiser, but the youths and maidens — a sad foretaste — 
were led off to the Turkish Court. Again, a body of 
15,000, and another of 20,000, taking the way through 
Germany where they drew the sword and committed 
unheard-of atrocities against the Jews, were pursued and 
slaughtered in Hungary ; but a remnant escaped to Con- 
stantinople, and the remainder returned, a laughing-stock, 
to their homes. Thus, "of the first Crusaders, 300,000 
had already perished, before a single city was rescued from 
the infidels, before their graver and more noble brethren 
had completed the preparations of their enterprise." '■ 

First This miserable tale quickened the departure of the now 

Crusade, well-marshalled forces, some 600,000, besides women, 

1097. . ' 

clerics, and camp followers. The leaders were princes of 

distinction, surrounded by brilliant companies of Knights 
and their attendants, the growth of chivalry ; for " the 
Crusades were at once an eftect and a cause of this memor- 
able institution." ^ They marched, as the miserable crowds 
before them had done, in three bodies, and by similar 
routes; and, though not without severe hardships and loss, 
reached at last the Bosphorus. Their reception by Alexius, 
the Kaiser, was far from friendly, and many passages of 
arms with the Greeks took place before the great host was 
able to pass from Constantinople into Asia Minor. 

Such was the route through Greece and Asia Minor, 
that for many years was taken by the successive expedi- 
tions which, with more or less of military discipline, sought 
the shores of Syria ; but later on, the easier way was 
resorted to of a direct sea voyage. Meanwhile, we need 
not wonder that Alexius was dismayed at the vast armed 
multitudes which kept passing through his land. He had, 
1 Gibbon, chap. Iviii. - Ihid. 



THE CRUSADES XVll 

indeed, been long appealing to the European Powers for a.d. i097. 
help against the Turks. But the unwelcome attitude of 
these countless hosts brought a new disquiet into his 
mind, and the jealousies which made the Byzantine 
Court often thwart their progress, fermented bad blood, 
and eventually led to the loss of the eastern Citadel of the 
faith. 

It was toward the end of 109 7 a.d. that the invading 
force, reduced in its passage through Asia Minor by fighting 
and desertion to 300,000 combatants, invested Antioch, 
and, after a siege of nine months, took it by storm, and 1098. 
also Edessa, with the surrounding country. Shortly after, 
they were in considerable danger from the Seljukes, but 
were able eventually to drive them off. After some delay, 
20,000 soldiers, followed by as many pilgrims, marched, 
without serious opposition, along the sea coast of Syria 
towards the Holy land. It was the middle of summer 
when they reached Jerusalem, then in the hands of the 
Eatimides ; and after a siege of seven weeks, took it by 1099. 
storm. The Sacred city flowed with blood; the Jews ^^*^^ '^"^"'• 
sought refuge in their synagogue, but it was set on fire, 
and they perished in the flames. Within the next three 
days, 70,000 Moslems, without respect of age or sex, were 
put to the sword. Having sated thus their savage passions, 
the soldiers of the Cross fulfilled their vows, and kissed the 
stone that had covered Him who said, My kingdom is not of 
this loorlcl, else luould My servants fight. Barbarism, cruelty, 
hand in hand with fanatical piety, was the strange badge 
of this " Holy war " ; and, as we shall see, jealousy, strife, 
and even treachery, avarice, dissipation, and moral laxity, 
transpire too often, amongst the clergy as well as amongst 
the laity, throughout the whole course of these Crusades, 
and were indeed among the chief reasons that brought the 
cause eventually to an untimely end. 

Godfrey was now elected King, and thus a Christian 

prince, though weak and often hard pressed, and but one 

amongst the independent Barons who held cities and 

strongholds throughout the land, occupied the throne of 

b 



XVlll INTRODUCTION 

A.D. 1099. the Holy city for fourscore and eight years, when at last 
Jerusalem fell before the arms of Saladin. 

At first the Crusaders overran the greater part of 
Syria, though they never succeeded in taking Damascus. 
The Caliphs of Bagdad, now in abject dependence on the 
eastern Sultans, did not trouble themselves about the 
Crusade ; and the Seljukes were too closely occupied with 
their own jealousies and dissensions to direct an army 
against the Holy land. But Scions of their house, and 
Arab Emirs of the lands around, from time to time fought 
vigorously, and with varying fortune, against the invaders. 
Tancred and Baldwin seemed at one time to be carrying 
all before them, when, as was the wont, they fell out 
among themselves, and (strange alliance for soldiers of the 
Cross) joined on either side by Moslem arms, fought an 
internecine war. Tancred became supreme in Syria ; so 

1112. much so, indeed, that Ridhwan and other Seljuk Emirs 
were fain to make him heavy payments as an inducement 
to grant them a truce. But this success soon roused alarm 
amidst the peoples of the East ; and though the Caliph 
of Bagdad was deaf to their cries for help, a powerful army 
at last assembled, and repeatedly drove back the Crusading 
forces, led bravely on by Baldwin, with heavy loss. Dis- 
sensions, however, eventually broke up this Moslem host ; 
and thus the Crusaders, though weakened and losing 
many strongholds, were still enabled to hold their own. 
About this time, too, Baldwin i. made a successful inroad 

1118. into Egypt, and was on the very point of taking Cairo, 
when he died. 
"^ Throughout these first twenty years of the Crusade, 

the stream of Knights and Soldiers of the Cross towards 
the Holy land was steadily maintained, and that often in 
prodigious numbers. In particular, Eaimond, with a host 

1103. 300,000 strong, sought by a northern circuit through Asia 

Minor to attack Bagdad, but was routed in Armenia so 
fearfully that but few escaped to the shores of the Black 
Sea. Two other great bodies, one of them 100,000 
strong, were similarly cut up in the attempt to cross from 



THE CRUSADES XIX 

the Bosphorus through Asia Minor to Syria, and the sur- a.p. n03. 
vivors, of whatever sex or age, sold into slavery. Such 
was the wild and blinded zeal with which the heaven-born 
assurances of the Papal Court had inflamed the Christian 
world. 

We come now to a period when the Border Emirs, 
gathering strength from the dissensions of the Seljuk 
House, began to inflict the first of those decisive blows 
eventually fatal to the Crusade. They roused the Moslem 
populations all around, and defeat upon defeat of the 
Franks was the unhappy result. The Ortok clan, with 
Ilghazy at their head, beat back Eogers of Antioch, and, 
aided even by the Christian inhabitants, took that city for 
a time. Afterwards, in the pitched battle of Danit, they iii9. 
inflicted upon the Crusaders a terrible defeat, with great 
loss of Knights, and of Rogers himself, of whose last 
confession and communion before the fight a touching 
account is given. In another sad disaster, Joscelin was 1123. 
taken prisoner ; and King Baldwin, sent in chains to 
Harran, only gained his freedom by a compact which he 
failed to fulfil. Amid all these calamities, the Crusaders 
obtained a single advantage in the capture of Tyre, but 
otherwise they could do little in reprisal beyond cruelly 1124. 
ravaging the land. 

It was now that Zenky, the terrible foe of the 
Crusaders, came to the front. He was Atabek, or Major- 
Domo, at one of the Seljuk Courts, and was also much 
occupied with the affairs of the Abbaside Caliphate at 
Bagdad. Succeeding to the Chiefship of Mosul, he entered 
on a campaign against Syria. Beating the Franks at every li-2i3- 
point, he seized many of their strongholds. While thus 
pursuing a victorious course, he was called back to Bagdad, 
and there detained for several years immersed in the broils 
of the declining Caliphate. Eventually the city being 
captured by the Seljukes, he escaped with the Caliph to 1104,1135. 
]\Iosul. Central Asia was at this time convulsed by the 
incessant irruption of Ghaznevides, Ghorians, Ghoos, 
Kharizmies, and other Turcoman hordes, before whom 



XX INTRODUCTION 

A. It. 1130. the Seljuk dynasty came to an end. Treed thus from 
superior control, Zenky became the fortunate ruler of the 
country west of the Euphrates. And it was now that, 
descending like a whirlwind on Syria, he ravaged the 
Christian territories, and with great slaughter beat the 
Crusading armies back. Multitudes were slain, and many 
knights made prisoners. King I'ulco himself was pursued 
and taken captive, but graciously by the conqueror let go 
free. 

About this time the Kaiser, jealous of the Crusader's 
claim to the province of Antioch, and with the view of 

1137. securing the sovereign title recognised as his at its first con- 
quest, marched across Asia Minor, and laid siege to the city. 
Having come, however, to terms with Raimond, they joined 
forces and, 200,000 strong, attacked Aleppo. Zenky, in 
alarm, appealed to the Powers around for aid. He was 
reinforced from various quarters, and, among the rest, with 
20,000 horse from Bagdad, — all the help the Abbaside 
Caliphate ever gave against the Crusade. Thus strength- 

1138. ened, Zenky attacked the combined army, and drove them 
ignominiously back to Antioch. He then went against 
Damascus, but the Governor with the help (strange to say) 
of the Franks, resisted the attack. After various victories 
all around, he stormed Edessa, which had been carelessly 

1143,1144. left by Joscelin undefended. The city was ransacked, but 
special consideration was shown by Zenky towards the 
native Christians and their Bishop. Shortly after Zenky 
was murdered by his own memlukes. The Crusaders 
rejoiced, but their joy was shortlived. Joscelin, hastening 
back with his knightly force, and aided by the Greeks, who 
thus quickly forgot the clemency of Zenky, retook the 
city. But a greater than Zenky was at hand. His son, 
Nureddin, coming up, attacked them in front ; while the 
garrison from the citadel fell on them from behind. All 
night the battle raged. The Crusading force was cut to 
pieces, and only the few knights who, with Joscelin, could 
force their way through the enemy, escaped to Samosata. 
A terrible fate awaited the native Christians ; for Nureddin, 



THE CRUSADES XXI 

incensed at their ingratitude, gave no quarter. Thirty a.d. 1144. 
thousand are said to have been slain, and fifteen thousand 
sold into slavery. 

Europe was aroused by these terrible disasters. The Second 
Pope again sounded his heavenly summons to the battle of iJJy^*^^' 
the Cross; and Bernard, like Peter the Hermit, made 
Europe ring afresh with the cry, — a repetition, in fact, of 
what happened fifty years before. Louis and Conrad 
headed the vast force thus assembled, and it marched in 
great pomp, with noble ladies in its train. Against the 
Jews in Germany, savage enormities were perpetrated as 
before ; and in Asia Minor, through the Kaiser's treachery, 
even greater losses were suffered from the Turks. Hardly 
one-tenth survived to reach the Holy land. Still, the 
Pranks were so greatly strengthened by the reinforcements 
that they attempted to storm Damascus.^ But the eastern 
Barons, bribed (sad to say) by the Governor, dealt faith- 
lessly by their fellows ; the force retired disastrously, and 
the newcomers sickened by the intrigues and laxity around 
them, sighed again for home. Excepting the capture of 
Ascalon, the campaign was one of unbroken loss and mis- 1140- 
fortune. Jerusalem was twice attacked, and the land 
overrun by Nureddin. Few strongholds now were left 
either in the north or south to the Crusading forces, whose 
rivalries, and too often worthless lives, but courted defeat, 
and were fast discrediting the Christian name. In a 
pitched engagement, liaimond of Antioch was slain with 
all his train, and Joscelin 11. carried off a prisoner in 
chains, and so remained for years until his death. 
Nureddin, having at last got possession of Damascus, daily 1156. 
grew in power. A truce made by him about this time 
was faithlessly broken by King Baldwin, who fell upon an 
unsuspecting Moslem camp that trusted to it. Shortly 
after, the Pranks paid dearly for this act of treachery. 

1 Saladin was present at this Ijattle witli liis father. It is curious 
to read that the enthusiasm of the citizens was kindled by the holding 
up of Othman's Goran, the same copy so recently lost in the conflagra- 
tion of the great ]\Iosque. 



XXU INTRODUCTION 

A.D. 11 5t). The King escaped with difficulty from Nnreddin's hands ; 
but a body of his knights was captured, marched with 
ignominious pomp through the Damascus streets, and then 
in retaliation put to death. Even when success was near 
at hand, as in the siege of (northern) Ciiesarea, the oppor- 
tunity was, by the jealousies of the Barons, lost. But the 

Tliinl cause, sunk thus low, was anew strengthened by a fresh 

ii5r'^' ' contingent under Dietrich of Flanders. Nureddin, too, fell 
sick, and in one engagement was nearly taken prisoner. 
But fortune turned again, and in a raid against Armenia, 
Eainald fell into the enemy's hands, and was led off in 
chains to Aleppo. A year or two of inaction followed ; 
but the time was made good use of by Nureddin to 
consolidate his rapidly increasing realm. 

ii6(t. At this point, Egypt comes upon the stage as bearing 

on the fate of the Crusade. In the decrepitude of the 
Fatimide dynasty, Nureddin and King Amalrich both set 
their heart upon it. The Caliph's Vizier sought aid from 
each against the other, and each in turn invaded the land. 
At last a friendly treaty was concluded with both, which 
Amalrich was the first to break, ravaging the country and 
exacting largesses from the Court. The wretched Caliph 
appealed to Nureddin, sending locks of his ladies' hair in 
token of extremity. Nureddin gladly despatched his 
general Shirkoh to the rescue, before whom Amalrich, 
crestfallen, slipped away. Shirkoh thus became supreme 

1170. in Egypt, and shortly after his nephew, Saladin, succeeded 
to his place. Next year the Caliph died. So ended the 
Fatimide dynasty.^ And Saladin became Lord of Egypt. 
He was of Kurdish blood, and though at first little of a 
soldier, was not long in distinguishing himself by the able 
defence of Damietta against the Franks, and he soon dis- 
played all the qualities of a great ruler at once in council 
and in war. Jealous of the independent attitude of his 
viceregent, Nureddin repeatedly summoned him to sub- 
mission ; and the position of Saladin was rapidly becoming 
hazardous, when he was happily relieved of the danger. 
' Ilaviu" lasted 272 voars. 



THE CRUSADES XXIU 

For just then Nureddin died, — a grand, true, and faithful a. u. 1174. 
prince. And so Saladin was left at peace in Egypt, where 
he signalised his reign by schools and hospitals and other 
improvements. 

Fortunately for Saladin, dissensions in the family of ii7t!. 
Nureddin enabled him to extend his sway over Syria, and 
eventually as far as Mesopotamia and Mosul. He was 
recalled to Syria by a fresh invasion of the Franks, who 
arrived in bodies both by land and sea. At first these, 
with the miraculous fragment of the Holy cross, drove all 
before them ; but, as usual, they wasted their energies in 
wrangling and useless raids. Attacked at Paneas, they 
suffered a sad defeat, losing Honfroi and a multitude of iiso. 
knights. A fortress built on the Jordan to threaten 
Damascus was stormed, and the King himself on one 
occasion escaped with difficulty. The Franks were fast 
sinking into a weak and helpless state. The guardians of 
the throne about this time were (as Gibbon puts it) suc- 
cessively a leper, a child, a woman, a coward, and a traitor ; 
while the Barons and Knights, of whatever order, instead 
of rallying to its defence, did little else than quarrel for 
the supremacy, and, indeed, were too often taken up by 
cupidity, jealousy, strife, and licentious lives, — unholy 
defenders of a Holy land ! The Pullanes too (half-caste 
progeny of native mothers), grown up now a disreputable 
and disloyal race, added to the insecurity of the Franks. 
The wonder is that the kingdom hung so long together ; 
which, indeed, it never would have done had there not 
been an unceasing flow, year by year, of Knights and 
Pilgrims for its defence. Things, however, were now 
coming to a bitter end. 

Satisfied with his victories, Saladin entered into a 1182. 
truce, and returned to Egypt. He was, however, shortly 
after recalled to revenge an attack on the Sacred environs 
of the Hejaz by Piainald, who, having fitted out a fleet at ii83. 
Ayla, devastated the coasts of Mecca and Medina. He was 
driven off with great loss, and a multitude of his followers 
were taken captive, some of whom were sacrificed at the 



XXIV INTRODUCTION 

A.I). 1186. shrine of Mina. Saladin, resenting the despite thus done 
to his Faith, inflicted reprisals on the Crusaders' territory, 
and, being now secure throughout the East, gathered his 
forces from all sides, resolved to make a final end of the 
Crusading rule. Against Eainald he was specially 
incensed, not only for the attack on Arabia, but for repeated 
seizure of caravans with Moslems on their pilgrimage to 
Mecca. Against the advice of Kaimond, who had lately 
made peace with Saladin, King Veit marched upon 
Tiberias, where Saladin, having taken the city, was raiding 

1187. all around. The armies met at Hittiu, where the 
Crusaders, blinded by the smoke and heat of the kindled 
grass, suffered a crushing defeat. The King and the 
Grandmaster of the Templars, with all survivors, were 
taken captive. Eainald was slain by Saladin, as he had 
sworn, with his own hand. The captives were sold as 
slaves ; but the Knights of both Orders, to avenge the 
inroad on the Sacred territory and attacks upon the 
Moslem pilgrims, were hewn in pieces before Saladin's 
eyes. The King alone was taken honourably to Damascus, 
and freed on promising to give Ascalon up. 

Saladin now scoured the land, and recovered most of 
the strongholds still in the Crusaders' hands. Unwilling 
to besiege the Holy city, he offered to make concessions if 
it were but ceded peacefully. His advances were declined, 
and so at last Jerusalem was invested ; and, after an eight 
2nd Oct. days' siege, becoming untenable, the keys were delivered 
up to Saladin. A cry of anguish rose from the miserable 
inhabitants, and of wailing from the women clothed in sack- 
cloth. The Sacred places were desecrated, the churches 
turned into Mosques, the crosses torn down, and the bells 
destroyed. But the people, on payment of a light ransom, 
were allowed free departure. The conduct, indeed, of 
Saladiu and his brother Adil on this occasion is praised 
for their care of the poor Christians, and for the convoy 
provided for their departure. 

1188. Saladin made good use of his victory, and left little 
of importance throughout Syria in the Crusaders' hands 



THE CRUSADES XXV 

besides Antioch, Tyre, and Tripoli. Boemimd was a.d. iiss. 
besieged in Antioch ; but, on surrendering all his Moslem 
captives, and promising to retire if not soon relieved, 
Saladin admitted him to a seven months' truce. Another 
Crusade, however, was at hand. The loss of Jerusalem 
and its desecration after having been a Christian capital 
for nearly a century, the slaughter of Knights, and the 
loss of Syria, fell like a thunderbolt on Europe. The 
Pope fulminated his Bulls afresh, and (forgetful of the past) 
reiterated the promise of Divine aid and victory. He also 
imposed fresh burdens on the people, of which " Saladin's 
tenth " survived a welcome remnant for the treasury of 
Rome. The cry resounded through Europe, and though 
at first there was much dissatisfaction, especially at the 
faithlessness of the Pullanes, multitudes at last assembled, 
and carrying, like their predecessors, cruelty and rapine in 
their front, set out upon the fourth Crusade. Many went by Fourth 
sea; the rest, by land, fought with the Greeks, as their fore- j^^ ^' 
runners had done a hundred years before, and after similar 
perils and privations, reached, but a remnant, the Holy 
land. Thus reinforced, the Franks invested Akka. There 
Saladin inflicted severe loss upon them ; but they were 
too many for him, and so, sick and disheartened, he retired 
from the scene. The siege was prosecuted with vigour. 
Hunger and hardship were bravely borne by the forces 
as they held their ground around the city ; but there is 
also the usual story of dissension ; Cceur-de-Lion, for 
example, and King Veit arrayed with their followers in 
arms, against Conrad and Philip of Erance. There is also 
the same sad tale throughout the army of mingled fanaticism 
and sin, of masses and prayers, hand in hand with vice 
and riot. After two years the Moslem garrison, in the 
last extremity of want, surrendered upon favourable 1191. 
terms. These were faithfully carried out by Saladin, who 
forthwith set all the Christian captives free, while the 
cruel Eichard put the garrison, two or three thousand in 
number, to death, excepting such as could give a heavy 
ransom. After some fresh hostilities, in which Saladin 



XXVI INTRODUCTION 

A.n. 1191. retaliated by taking the lives of such Crusaders as fell 
into his hands, and the loss of Ascalon (which Saladin, 
with a heavy heart, to safeguard Egypt, took and razed 

1193. to the ground), a three years' truce was concluded between 
the contending parties. Soon after, Saladin died. A 
noble prince : in virtuous living, not, indeed, to be 
compared with ISTureddin ; but gentle and forbearing, 
though ever stirred by a lofty ambition and by the 
aggressive spirit of Islam. 

1193- The truce was fortunate for the Moslems, who were 

■*'■ at that moment seriously weakened by the death of 
Saladin and by the discord which, as usual, rent his large 
family, till at last his brother Adil gained the ascendency. 
But the Crusaders were in no case to profit by such 
opportunity ; and we may say, indeed, that the fate of 
the Crusade was henceforth but a foregone conclusion. 
Their land was waste, and their hold alone maintained by 
the few strongholds yet left in their possession, and by the 

Fifth ceaseless flow of fresh Crusading; bands. The fifth Crusade, 

iioT*^^' composed of German levies, under Henry vi., was ill- 
received by the Italians, French, and English. Bad blood 
and disunion again paralysed their efforts. Beyond the 
capture of Beyrut,^ little else was gained, and the new- 
comers, disheartened, soon began to return again to Europe. 
Meanwhile, Adil was achieving a grand and undisputed 
rule from Georgia to Aden, before which the weak, divided, 
and desultory efforts of the Franks were powerless. 

Sixth The sixth Crusade, an overpowering force, was diverted, 

So!'^'' ' °^ reaching Venice, from the Holy land by the ecclesias- 
tical rancour that ruled against the Greek Church. Con- 
stantinople was besieged and taken with terrible slaughter 
and calamities, and remained under the Eoman hierarchy 
for half a century, when it again reverted to the Greeks. 
From first to last this Crusade, supported by the Papal 

' Two sliips had h)iig lain in wait outside the harbour to decoy 
Crusading vessels and carry tlieir i)assengers into Beyrut, where as 
many as 14,000 were, on its capture, found in captivity. Some say 
many more. 



THE CRUSADES XXVI 1 

Court, was an iniquitous work, which but tended to the a.d. 1200. 
eventual downfall of the Eastern bulwark of the Christian 
faith. About this time, also, we read of the Children's 121-2. 
Pilgrimage, which ruined disastrously the lives and virtue 
of thousands of girls and boys. Some 30,000 were seized on 
their voyage to Egypt, and there sold as slaves ; sad illus- 
tration of the fanatical darkness in which the Crusading 
spirit had shrouded Europe, and its melancholy results. 

Little time ehapsed before there was a new inroad into 
Syria. A great army, headed by four kings, assembled at Seveuth 
Akka. After ravaging the Holy land, they advanced on 3^217. ' 
Egypt, and laid siege to Damietta. In a few months they 
forced the defences that barred entrance, and invested the 1218. 
city. Hearing of their success, the Pope sent Cardinal 
Pelagius as his representative, who immediately assumed 
the management of affairs. After two years of heavy 1220. 
fighting and bloodshed, the city, and eventually the citadel 
also, fell into their hands, whereupon Pelagius was glorified 
by the Pope throughout Europe as a second Joshua. 
Another year passed, and the opportunity of further 
advance was lost in the usual quarrels and jealousies ; 
— Pelagius spending such time as he could spare from fasts 
and masses in bitter dissensions with the other leaders. 
The Sultan, in distress, made repeated offers to cede 
Jerusalem if they would but retire ; but, against King 
John's advice, the offer was rejected by the Cardinal. 
After the King with many thousands had retired in 
disgust, Pelagius at last advanced from Damietta upon 
Cairo. But the Egyptians, attacking the force before and 
behind, cut off both advance and retreat. Picduced to 
terrible straits, it was only by the clemency of the 
Sultan that they were not utterly destroyed, but were 
allowed to return unmolested to Syria. So ended the 1221. 
grand scheme of the Papal Court, all chance of success 
being lost by the ambition and perversity of Pelagius ; 
while the forbearance of the Sultan, who granted an 
eight years' truce, has been justly lauded on every hand. 

The sons of Adil, who died of grief at the taking of 1222. 



XXVlll INTRODUCTION 

A. I.. 122-2. Damietta, fell into discord among themselves; but little 
advantage was taken of it till Kamil at last gained 

1227. supreme command. Between him and Frederick li., who 
made his Crusade about this time, friendly relations 
sprang up ; so much so, indeed, that Jerusalem, with the 

1229. surrounding lands, was restored to his possession on 
condition of equal rights and freedom to the Moslems, and 
also that the city should remain unfortified. Frederick was 
now crowned King of the Holy city, and this concession 
was enjoyed for fifteen years, till at last the ]\Iongols swept 
before them all away. But Frederick, being under the Pope's 
displeasure, the Holy places were for a time under the 
Papal ban ; and Frederick, in consequence, was ill -received 
by the Knights, who are said even to have planned his 
assassination. The Chiefs of Antioch, Tripolis, and Beyrut, 
independent one of another, thought little of combined 
action. Miserable contentions and abandoned living still 
weakened the Crusading arm ; little more than raids and 
plunder were attempted, and that often with serious loss.^ 
Meanwhile, the Crusade was again vigorously preached in 
Europe ; but the new levies were, during the next ten or 
fifteen years, diverted by the Pope to Crusades against the 
Albigeuses, the Pagans of the north, and suchlike objects 
of Papal displeasure. 

1239. About this time the Franks embraced the cause of 
Ismail, who rose in rebellion against his nephew, the 
Sultan Eyyub, — an alliance so hateful even to Ismail's own 
followers, that their desertion on the field of Ascalon led to 

1240. the Christians' shameful overthrow. The Sultan, never- 
iheless, came to peaceful terms with them ; but the restless 
Knights continued hostile raids against Kerak, and even 
among themselves. We blush to read that 2000 prisoners 

1243. were slaughtered by them at Akka, and still worse, that a 
body of captives brought in on promise of being baptized, 

' 111 rejielling an attack of the Mongols on Jerusalem, 2000 of tlie 
^Moslems were mercilessly cut to ]iieces by the Pullanes ; who, we 
are tokl, were move dreaded hy Hit- inhaljitants of Syria even than the 
Mongol hordes. 



THE CRUSADES XXIX 

were also put to death. A yet darker season was at hand a.d. 1240. 
in the eruption of the Charizmian hordes, who now at last 
reached Syria and fell upon it like an avalanche. They 
destroyed Jerusalem with horrible barbarity, slaying 7000 
Christians, and carrying off the maidens into captivity. 
These barbarians formed an alliance with the Egyptian 
Sultan ; and, commanded by Beibars, his Mameluke general, 
routed a combined army of Franks and Moslems near to 
Joppa, where the Christians, being again deserted by their 
Moslem companions, met with a terrible and bloody over- 
throw. 

We come now to what may be called the last Crusade 1247. 
upon the Holy land, namely, Louis' first campaign. 
Passing on to Egypt, he attacked Damietta with the same 
early success, and the like eventual disaster, as in the case 
of Pelagius thirty years before. The army was defeated in 
an advance on Cairo, the fleet destroyed, and Louis taken 
prisoner. He was well treated by Turan Shah, who, for 
this act of kindness, was slain by Beibars ; and Beibars 
thus succeeded to the Sultanate, the first of the Mameluke 
dynasty. In wretched case Louis and his Barons got 
back to Syria, and after further misfortunes, home to 
France. Long afterwards, Louis engaged in a second 1270. 
Crusade, but that being against Tunis, requires no further 
notice here, except that it was marked by the same disunion 
as of old, and had an equally unfortunate end. 

The remainder of our story is one melancholy tale 1-263. 
of decadence, hastened by the fatal discord and internal ^'^ ^^'^• 
warring of the Hospitallers with the Templar Knights. 
" Foes to themselves," said Beibars, " their own strife 
and folly are their downfall." In his four memorable 1-262- 
campaigns, Beibars destroyed their chief remaining strong- ^^^'^" 
holds excepting Tripolis and Akka. The women and 
children from all quarters were sent as slaves to Tyre. At 
Antioch there is a sad tale, the whole body of the Crusaders 
— soldiers, priests and monks, and Christian citizens — on 
its capture, were put to death or reduced to slavery. 

In 1289, Tripolis at last was stormed with terrible 1289. 



XXX INTRODUCTION 

A.D. 12S9. massacre, thousauds of women and children being driven 
into slavery. Still Knights and Barons courted attack on 
their yet remaining places on the coast by frequent raids 
and breach of truce, till at last Akka alone remained, the 
centre to which all fled for safety; and that was now 
besieged. It was a vast, magnificent, and voluptuous city, 
as grandly described by Wilken ; crowded by Franks from 
every quarter as their last resort ; Crusaders all, but yet, as 
the historian tells us, even in the throes of last existence 
still a prey to dissensions, jealousies, greed, and dissipation/ 
The Grandmaster of the Templars, anxious to save this 
great city, sought the Sultan, and brought from him pacific 
terms ; but he was disowned as a traitor by the infatuated 
leaders, who drove him back upon the Sultan's Court. The 
first attack was repelled, but at the cost of 2000 lives. 
Despairing now, this last Crusading band resolved to die, 
and there is an affecting scene of their last confession and 

1291. communion. The city fell (strange to say) on the same day, 
and same hour of the day, as a hundred years before it had 
been captured from the Moslems. A few escaped by ship. 
A thousand fled for the moment into a fortified place, but 
in the end all met their fate, and not a soul survived. A 
melancholy tale. 

So ended the great Crusade. " By the command of 
the Sultan, the churches and fortifications of the Latin 
cities were demolished ; a motive of avarice or fear still 
opened the Holy sepulchre to some devout and defenceless 
pilgrims ; and (as Gibbon finishes the sad story) a mourn- 
ful and solitary silence prevailed along the coast which had 
so long resounded with the World's Debate." 

Such is a brief outline of the Crusades. I have had 
occasion repeatedly to notice the jealousies and discord 
which led to misfortune and defeat. But above and 
beyond these, the grand cause that rendered success im- 
possible was the absence of any supreme and recognised 
ruler. There was no common authority from first to 
1 Wilken, viii. p. 793. 



THE CRUSADES XXXI 

last, which oould prevent disorder, enforce obedience, or 
command united action. The Crusaders came from the 
various lands of Europe ; as such they had each their 
separate interests, and not less so the various knightly 
Orders. Too often, as we have seen, they fought one 
against the other. The " King " of Jerusalem had little 
authority beyond his own environs. Antioch, Tripolis, 
Edessa, and other strongholds were independent of one 
another, sometimes even hostile, and the Kaiser was jealous 
of them all. Under a common Prince, with recognised 
authority, success was possible. Torn by factions and con- 
tending interests, defeat was in the end inevitable. 

The Crusades from first to last are a chapter unique 
in the history of the world ; a chapter also, of which, 
especially in its Oriental aspect, there is, as I have said, 
much need of a well-digested work in our own language. 
Such an undertaking would afford occasion also for review- 
ing the effect of that great and protracted warfare upon the 
social state of Europe, as well as upon the Churches and 
Communities of the East. With the latter, persecution, 
loss, and decadence ; with the former, some advantages as 
well as many evils. 

The Crusades it was that roused the Western world from 
a long sleep of listlessness. It was they that first brought 
the Principalities throughout Europe into common action 
with a grand though mistaken object, and endowed them 
thus with a fresh political life. A new interest was by 
them created and quickened in the East, extending historical 
and geographical knowledge both as to place and people, 
and enlarging ideas in respect of the language as well as 
the manners and habits of the Asiatic world. Again, 
while the Crusades gave an insight into the defects of the 
Moslem faith, they furnished some bright examples of 
generosity and virtue even in the hostile ranks. They 
promoted trade and mercantile activity, and thus increased 
the wealth and capital of Europe. They contributed to 
the revival of the fine arts, and the prosecution of such 
scientific branches as astronomy, mathematics, medicine, 



XXXll INTRODUCTION 

pharmacy, and natural history. Above all, the Crusades 
gave a last blow to the Feudal system. The multitude of 
serfs that flocked to the banner of the Cross threw aside 
their servile bonds and assumed an attitude of independence ; 
while the system was still further loosened by the frequent 
sale of feudal properties as the Knights and Barons left 
their homes for the East. 

On the other hand, the Crusades aggravated the 
intolerance of the day, and promoted deeds of bloodshed 
and cruelty in the Christian ranks as appalling at times as 
those of their enemy ; while we also have the strange com- 
bination of fanatical piety hand in hand with the lowest 
vices of humanity. Indeed, it is often difficult to recognise 
the Faith of Jesus, either in the religion which, throughout 
these two centuries, the Popes and their Councils kept 
sending back to the land of its birth, or in the agencies by 
which it was sought to establish it there. And while it 
might have been expected that the constant falsification of 
the Heavenly promises made by the Eoman conclave would 
have weakened, if not altogether destroyed, faith in the 
guidance of the Western Church, we find, strange to say, 
that the Crusading sentiment had the directly contrary 
effect, introduced the reign of inquisitorial terror, filled the 
coffers of the Eoman See, and riveted the shackles of 
Papal dominancy. 



ERRATA ET CORRIGENDA. 



Page 


Line 










7 


18 


For 


Adlil read Adil 




40 


28 


,, 


Mokallam 


, Mokattani. 




40 


28 


,, 


Frontispiece 


, p. 214. 




41 


9 


,, 


outside 


,, in. 




49 


Margin 


,, 


1297 Novr. 


,, 1296 Deer. 




80 


II 




Citadel 


„ City. 




81 


21 


,, 


14th 


,, 4th 




81 


28 


delete the word Hill. 






81 


30 


Fo) 


pp. 466, 467 r 


ead pp. 60, 100 et seq. 




81 


31 


,, 


Max Henry Le Caise 


,, Max Herse ; Cairo, 


1896 


117 


II 


,, 


twelfth 


,, thirteenth. 




150 


7 


,, 


thirty-tive 


,, seventy-five. 





THE MAMELUKE DYNASTY 

1260-1517 A.D. 



CHAPTER I 



Shortly after the Prophet's death, during the Caliph- a.d. gao. 
ate of Omar, Egypt was conquered from Mucoucus 
the Roman Governor by Amru, and for two centuries 
remained a province ruled by the Caliphs of Damas- 
cus and Bagdad. Towards* the end of the ninth 
century, the Egyptian governor Ibn Tulun, son of a 86S-905. 
Turkish slave, threw aside the yoke of the now de- 
crepid Caliphate, and himself mounted the throne. 
His splendid administration is still marked by the 
magnificent Mosque which he built in Fostat, and 

1 Mameluke (memlook, the past i^articiijle of the verb mcdak to 
possess) signifies a slave. It is from the same root as Malik an owner 
or king. We shall call the slaves memlukes, as shorter and more akin 
to the original, and the Emirs or leaders Mamelukes. 



2 THE TULUNIDE DYNASTY 

A.D. 868- which to this day bears its great founder's name/ 

905. . . 

The Tulunides after a time suffered Egypt to fall 
back into the Caliph's hands ; but again it became 
independent under another Turkish Governor, Ibn 
Toghej, first of the Ikshidite line so called from 
933-970. his Ferghana lineage. Eventually the Fatimide (or 
Shiea) Caliphs, having defeated the Aghlabites of 
Tripolis and Kairowan, turned their arms eastward, 
conquered Egypt with southern Syria, and fixed their 
seat at Cairo, — Cdhifa, " the Victorious," — which has 
ever since remained the capital of Egypt, and in the 
famous Mosque and College of Al Azhar contains a 
memorial of their rule. The Fatimides held the throne 
for two hundred years, but towards the end of that 
time becoming, like the Caliphs of Bagdad, weak and 
imbecile, they fell into the hands of Turkish Viziers 
who, keeping their masters in subserviency, them- 
selves assumed the rule.^ Such was the state of 
things at the time our history begins. But before 
passing to it, a few words may be of use to introduce 

1 It is in Fostat, the ancient capital, a little above the modern Cairo ; 
" the largest Mosque in Cairo, and as presenting the earliest siaecimens of 
the pointed arch, noteworthy in the history of architecture." — Enc. Brit. 

2 The Fatimide Caliphate was an offshoot of the Ismailians, a trans- 
cendental sect of the Shiea, or Alyite, faith. It arose from the Berbers 
of North Africa adopting a " Mehdy," who fled from Arabia in the 
beginning of the tenth century, and recognising him as their Caliph at 
Tripolis. Some sixty years afterwards, the Fatimide Caliphs (so called 
as descended from Fatima, the Prophet's daughter) conquered Egypt 
and southern Syria. See the Caliphate, Relig. T. Society, London 1892, 
ch. Ixxi. 



EGYPT AND THE MAMELUKES d 

to the reader the strange Mameluke race of which we 
write. 

For several generations the Caliphs of Bagdad had 
fallen into the dangerous habit of attracting to their 
capital thousands of slaves with barbarous names 
from Turcoman and Mongol hordes. These they 
used both as bodyguards and also as contingents to 
countervail the overweening influence of the Arab 
soldiery, whom in the end they superseded altogether. 
From the bondmen, they became the masters of the 
Court, fomented riots and rebellion, and hastened the 
fall of the effete Caliphate.^ The same habit, with the 
same eventual result, was followed by the Fatimide 
Caliphs ; and after them likewise by the Eyyubite 
dynasty who, being strangers in the land, were glad of 
the support of foreign myrmidons. Conquered tribes 
in Central Asia were nothing loth to sell their children 
to the Slave-dealer, who promised them prosperity in 
the West ; and the tidings which spread from time to 
time of fortune to be gained in Egypt, made his task 
an easy one. It was thus that not only prisoners of 
war, but children of the Eastern hordes, kept streaming 
to the West, where they were eagerly bought, some- 
times at enormous prices, both by Sultans and Emirs. 

The thousands who thus, with uncomely names 
and barbarous titles,^ began to crowd the streets of 

' Caliphate, pp. 589, et seq. 

2 1 have throughout softened and abbreviated the names and titles. 



4 EGYPT AND THE MAMELUKES 

Cairo, occupied a position to which we have no parallel 
elsewhere. Finding a weak and subservient popula- 
tion, they lorded it over them. Like the Children of 
Israel, they ever kept themselves distinct from the 
people of the land ; but the oppressors, not, like them, 
the oppressed. Brought up to arms, the best favoured 
and most able of the Mamelukes when freed became 
at the instance of the Sultan, Emirs of ten, of fifty, of 
a hundred, and often, by rapid leaps, of a thousand.^ 
They continued to multiply by the purchase of 
fresh slaves who, like their masters, could rise to 
liberty and fortune. The Sultans were naturally the 
largest purchasers, as they employed the revenues of 
the State in surrounding themselves with a host of 
slaves ; we read, for example, of one who bought 
some six thousand. While the great mass pursued a 
low and servile life, the favourites of the Emirs, and 
specially of the Crown, were educated in the arts of 
peace and w^ar, and, as pages and attendants, gradu- 
ally rose to the position of their masters — the slave 
of to-day, the Commander, and not infrequently the 
Sultan of to-morrow\ 

From the first, insolent and overbearing, the mem- 
lukes began, as time passed on, to feel their power, and 
grew more and more riotous and turbulent, oppressing 
the land by oft-repeated pillage and outrage. Broken 
up into parties, each with the name of some Sultan or 

• A title of coinmand. 



EGYPT AND THE MAMELUKES 5 

leader, their normal state was one of internal combat 
and antagonism ; while, pampered and indulged, they 
often turned upon their masters. Some of the more 
powerful Sultans were able to hold them in order, and 
there were not wanting occasional intervals of quiet ; 
but trouble and uproar were ever liable to recur. 

The Eyyubite princes settled their memlukes, 
chiefly Turks and Mongols, — so as to keep them out 
of the city, — on an island in the Nile, whence they 
were called Bahrites, and the first Mameluke dynasty 
(1260-1382) was of this race, and called accordingly. 
The others, a later importation, were called Burjites, 
from living in the Citadel, or quarters in the town ; 
tliey belonged more to the Circassian race. The 
second dynasty (1382-1517) was of these and, like the 
Bahrite dynasty, bore their name.^ The memlukes 
were for the most part attached faithfully to their 
masters ; and the Emirs, with their support, enriched 
themselves by exactions from the people, with the 
unscrupulous gains of office, and with rich fieffs from 
the State. The memlukes, as a body, thus occupied a 
prominent and powerful position, and often, especially 
in later times, forced the Sultan to bend to their will. 

Such is the people which for two centuries and a 
half ruled Egypt with a rod of iron, and whose history 
we shall now attempt to give. 

1 Bahr, a sea or river, whence Bahrites, as living on the island. 
}jiirj (Boorj), a tower or case-mate, whence Burjites (Boorjites). 



CHAPTER II 

THE EYYUBITE DYNASTY, AND SULTANATES OF EIBEK 
AND KOTUZ 

1171-1260 A.D. 

A.D. 1169. It was about the middle of the twelfth century 
that Nureddin and King Amalrich both turned a 
longing eye towards Egypt where, in the decrepitude 
of the Fatimides, dissension and misrule prevailed. 
The Caliph in alarm sought aid first from one and 
then from the other ; and each in turn entered 
Egypt ostensibly for its defence, but in reality for 
its possession. A friendly treaty was at last con- 
cluded with both ; but it was broken by Amalrich, 
who invaded the country and demanded a heavy 
ransom. In this extremity, the Caliph again 
appealed to Nureddin, sending locks of his ladies' 
hair in token of alarm. Glad of the opportunity, 
Nureddin despatched his general Shirkoh to the 
rescue, before whom Amalrich crestfallen retired. 
Shirkoh having thus delivered the Caliph, gained 
his favour, and, as Vizier, assumed the administra- 

6 



THE EYYUBITE DYNASTY 7 

tion. Soon after lie died, and his nephew Saladin a.d. ii69. 
succeeded to the Vizierate. The following year 
the Caliph also died ; and now Saladin, who had 
by vigorous measures put down all opposition, 
himself as Sultan took possession of the throne. ii70. 
Thus the Fatimide dynasty which had for two 
centuries ruled over Egypt, came to an end.-"^ 

Saladin was son of a Kurdish chief called Eyyub, 
and hence the dynasty is termed Eyyuhite. His 
capital was Cairo. He fortified the city, using the 
little Pyramid for material ; and abandoning the 
luxurious palace of the Fatimides, laid the founda- 
tions of the Citadel on the nearest crest of the 
Mokattam range, and to it transferred his residence. 
After a prosjierous rule over Egypt and Syria of 
above twenty years he died, and his numerous 1193. 
family fell into dissension. At last his brother 
Adlil, gaining the ascendency, achieved a splendid 
reign not only at home, but also in the East from 
Cjeorgia to Aden. He died of grief at the taking 1218. 
of Damietta by the Crusaders, and his grandson 
Eyyub succeeded to the throne. It was now 
that the Charizmian hordes fell upon Syria, and, 
with horrible atrocities, sacked the Holy City. 1240. 
Forming an alliance with these barbarians, the 
Sultan sent the Mameluke general Beibars to join 

1 I have ventured to give a good deal liere in the words of the 
Lecture on tlie Crusades. 



8 THE EYYUBITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1240. tliem against his uncle the Syrian prince Ismail, 

between whom and the Crusaders an unholy union 

had prevailed. Near Joppa the combined army of 

Franks and Moslems met at the hands of Beibars 

and the Eastern hordes, with a bloody overthrow ; 

1246. and thus all Syria again fell under Egypt. To 

establish his power both at home and abroad, the 

Sultan bought vast numbers of Turkish memlukes ; 

and it was he who first established them as Bahrites 

on the Nile. His son Turan was the last Eyyubite 

Sultan. In his reign Louis invaded Egypt, and 

advancing upon Cairo, was defeated and taken 

prisoner. Turan allowed him to go free ; and for 

this act of kindness, as well as for attempts to 

curb their outlawry, he was pursued and slain by 

1250. the Bahrite memlukes, who thereupon seized the 

government. 

The leading Mamelukes chose one of themselves, 
the Emir Eibek, to be head of the Administration. 
He contented himself at first to govern in the name 
of Eyyub's widow, who indeed had been in com- 
plicity with the assassins of her stepson Turan. 
The Caliph of Bagdad, however, objected to a 
female reigning even in name, and so Eibek 
married the widow ; and still further to conciliate 
the Eyyubites of Syria and Kerak, elevated to the 
title of Sultan a child of the Eyyubite stock. This 
concession notwithstanding, Nasir the Eyyubite 



p]iBEK y 

ruler of Damascus, advanced on Egypt but, a.d, 1251. 
deserted by his Turkish slaves, was beaten back by 
Eibek who returned in triumph to the capital. He 
soon found it, however, impossible to hold the 
turbulent memlukes in hand for, with the victorious 
general Aktai at their head, they scorned discipline 
and defied authority. Eibek therefore compassed 
the death of Aktai, on which the Bahrite Emirs 
all rose in rebellion. They were defeated. Many 1254. 
were slain and cast into prison ; the rest fled to 
Nasir, and eventually to Kerak. Among the latter 
were Beibars and Kilawun, of whom we shall hear 
more hereafter. Eibek was now undisputed Sultan, 
recognised as such by all the Powers around. And 
so he bethought him of taking a princess of Mosul 
for another wife ; on which the Sultana, already 
estranged, caused him to be put to death ; and she 1-257. 
too, in the storm that followed was assassinated by 
the slave girls of still another wife. 

Eibek's minor son was now raised by the Emirs 
to the titular Sultanate ; and Kotuz a distinguished 
memluke of Charizmian birth, persuaded to assume 
the uninviting post of Vicegerent.^ The Eyyubite 
prince of Kerak, in whose service many of the 
Bahrite memlukes still remained, attempting with 
their help to seize Egypt was twice repulsed by 

^ He belonged to the ro^^al Charizmian house ; wliich being defeated, 
he was carried a prisoner to Egypt, and there sold as a slave. 



10 THE MAMELUKE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1259. Kotuz, and thus obliged to disband the Bahrites, 
who returned to their Egyptian allegiance. Their 
return was fortunate, a time of trial being at hand. 
For it was now that Holagu with his Mongol hordes, 
having overthrown Bagdad, and slain the last of 
the Abbasides, launched his savage troops on the 
West. He fulminated a despatch to Nasir the 
Eyyubite head of Syria, in which he claimed to 
be " the scour o;e of the Almio-htv sent to execute 
judgment on the ungodly nations of the earth." 
Nasir answered it in like defiant terms ; but, not 
being supported by Kotuz, had to fly from Damascus 

1260. which was taken possession of by the Mongol tyrant. 
After ravaging Syria with unheard of Imrbarity, 
Holagu was recalled to Central Asia by the death 
of Mangu. Leaving his army behind under Ketbogha, 
he sent an embassy to Egypt with a letter as threat- 
ening as that to Nasir. Kotuz, who had by this 
time cast the titular Sultan aside and himself 
assumed the throne, summoned a council and by 
their advice put the embassy to death. Then 
awakening to the possibilities of the future, he 
roused the Emirs to action by a stirring address on 
the danger that threatened Egypt, their families 
and their faith. Gathering a powerful army, the 
Egyptians advanced to Akka where tliey found 
the Crusaders bound by a promise to the Mongols of 
neutrality. The two armies met at Ain-Jalut, and 



KOTUZ 1 1 

there, after a fiercely-contested battle, and mainly a.d. 1260. 
by the bravery of Beibars as well as of Kotuz 
himself, the Mongols were beaten and Ketbogha slain. 
On the news reaching Damascus, the city rose upon 
their barbarian tyrants, and slew not only all the 
Mongols, but great numbers also of the Jews 
and Christians who, during the interregnum, had 
raised their heads against Islam. 

Following up their victory, the Egyptians drove 
the Mongols out of Syria, and pursued them beyond 
Emessa. Kotuz, thus master of the country, re- 
appointed the former Governors throughout Syria, on 
receiving oath of fealty, to their several posts. For 
his signal service, Kotuz had led Beibars to expect 
Aleppo ; but, suspicion aroused of dangerous ambi- 
tion on Beibars' part, he gave that leading capital to 
another. Beibars upon this, fearing the fate that 
might befall him at Cairo, resolved to anticipate the 
danger. On the return journey, while Kotuz was on 
the hunting-field alone, he begged for the gift of a 
Mongol slave-girl, and taking his hand to kiss for 
the promised favour, seized hold of it while his 
accomplices stabbed him from behind to death. 
Beibars was forthwith saluted Sultan, and entered Oct. 1260. 
Cairo with the acclamations of the people, and with 
the same festive surroundings as had been prepared 
for the reception of his murdered predecessor. 




CITADKI, (as in irn.S A.D.); THE UUMEILAH GATE. 



PAET FIEST 



THE BAHRITE OR TURKISH DYNASTY 

1260-1382 A.D. 



CHAPTER III 

BEIBARS 

1260-1277 A.D. 

Beibars Bandukdary/ first of the long line ofA.D. 1260. 
Bahrite Mameluke Sultans, who for a century sat 
upon the throne of Egypt, had been purchased as a 
slave by Sultan Eyyub ; while yet young he dis- 
tinguished himself in the war with Ismail and the 
Crusaders, and then rose to high dignity. He was 
among those who conspired to take the life of 
Turan, the last Eyyubite prince. Under Eibek's 
Sultanate, he joined the disloyal party of Aktai, 
and on Aktai's assassination fled the country with 

' A Persian term signifying "liolder of the gun." 

13 



14 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1260. the Bahrite fugitives. Under Kotuz, as we have 
seen, he regained his position as commander of the 
army ; and on Kotuz' assassination was unani- 
mously elected Sultan. 

After his triumphal reception at the capital, 
Beibars made ample amends for whatever excesses 
he may have before committed in company with 
his Bahrite brethren. By wise administration, he 
succeeded in establishing his popularity and power 
both at home and abroad. He lightened the taxes 
which had made his predecessor's reign unpopular ; 
gained confidence by judicious measures and the 
fair advancement of his memlukes ; and conciliated 
Syria by the prompt recognition and friendly treat- 
ment of the local Governors. Damascus alone stood 
out ; but there too the Emirs were gained over and 
the recalcitrant governor carried a prisoner to Cairo. 
He fostered public works, beautified the mosques, 
established religious endowments, improved canals, 
harbours and fortifications, and added to the 
security of the kingdom by a swift post between 
Damascus and the capital.^ 

1261. In the year following his enthronement, Beibars 

conceived the design of re-establishing the Abbaside 
Caliphate which, two or three years before, had been 
swept away and the whole Abbaside house destroyed 
by Holagu at Bagdad. He required his throne to be 

1 Despatches were received in sixty liours. 



BEIBAKS 1 5 

thus strengthened against the jealousies of former a. d. 1261. 
comrades, as well as against efforts of the Shie-ites 
to restore the Fatimide dynasty. A Caliph of the 
Orthodox faith would put an end to such intrigue, 
and confer legitimacy upon the Crown. Hearing, 
therefore, that an Abbaside still survived the Monsfol 
massacre, Beibars had him brought in triumph from 
Syria to Cairo. At his approach, the Sultan with 
his Court went forth in State to meet him, while even 
the Jews and Christians carrying aloft the Law and 
Gospel followed in his train. He was then installed 
as Caliph, Beibars and the officers of State swearing 
fealty to him ; while he in turn conferred on Beibars 
the sovereign title. At public worship, after the 
established ritual of reading the Coran and invoca- 
tion of blessing on the Prophet and on the lineage 
of Abbas, the CalijDh offered prayer for the welfare 
of the Sultan. Some weeks passed, and the royal 
party, having witnessed a festive combat on the 
Nile, assembled in a garden outside Cairo where the 
Caliph invested Beibars with a robe of honour and 
the glittering badge of Imperial State. He then pre- 
sented him with a pompous patent, in which was 
enforced at great length the duty of warring for the 
faith and other obligations which now devolved 
upon him.^ Then with sound of trumpet and shouts 

1 A very lengthy affair, copied verbatim both by Macrizy and 
Noweiry. 



16 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1261. of joy from the crowds around, the procession 
wended its way through the carpeted streets, back to 
the Citadel, — the Sultan in front, next the Caliph 
and Vizier on horseback, while the rest followed on 
foot ; a scene, we are told, impossible to describe. 
The Sultan then set out with a powerful army, 
intending to establish the Caliph in possession of 
Bagdad, as of old. At Damascus, however, he 
was warned that a powerful Caliphate set up there 
might endanger Egypt's independence. Jealous, 
therefore, of his protege he left him there to 
march across the desert wdth a Bedouin and Turkish 
force ; but on his march the new Caliph was attacked 
by the Mongol Governor and, deserted by his 
followers, perished upon the road. 

On the tidings of this disaster reaching Cairo, 
another scion of Abbaside descent was elevated to the 
Caliphate (1263 a.d,). But, although he performed 
all the functions devolving on the office, Beibars took 
care that he should occupy a very different position 
from that of his predecessor. A mere creature of the 
Court, he was kept under restraint, — a detenue in 
the Citadel. Throughout the Mameluke dynasty, 
though the position varied under different Sultans, 
the office remained but a shadow and a name. The 
Caliph was brought out on important State occasions 
to complete the surroundings of the Court, and at 
every fresh succession to the Sultanate, as head of 



BEIBARS 17 

the Moslem faith, to grant its recognition of the a.d. 126i. 
title ; and that was all. 

However just his general administration, Beibars 
was not long in betraying, whenever his jealousy 
was roused, the treachery and disregard of life so 
characteristic of the race. He listened readily to 
suspicious tales, and not only kept changing his 
Viziers and Governors lest they should become too 
powerful but would cast them into prison whence 
sometimes they never again came forth. The most 
painful feature was the perfidy by which he did not 
scruple to attain his object. The biographers give 
many instances. The most notorious is that by 
which he drew into his net Moghith, the Eyyubite 
Prince of Kerak. After various attempts, he sent 
him a despatch in which, under the most solemn 
protestations, he swore to be true and faithful to 
him.^ Still doubting, but with no alternative, 
Moghith repaired to the Sultan's camp in Syria, 
where Beibars, receiving him with all honour, 
accompanied him on horseback to his tent. There 
he was suddenly seized, and sent in fetters to Cairo, 



1 Noweiiy, who himself .saw and copied the original, gives it 
verbatim, and Weil's translation fills two pages. Beibars swears that, 
should he break the oath, he would dismiss his slaves and slave-girls, 
and walk thirty times barefoot as a sinner to Mecca. 

Moghith was accused of sending his son to Holagu beseeching 
him to spare Kerak ; but even assuming such communication, that 
would not have justified the perjury. 

2 



18 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1261. where lie was either murdered or starved to death. 
The Governor left by him at Kerak refused to give 
up the citadel to the faithless Sultan, and so it had 
to be taken by storm. The family of Moghith, 
however, was kindly treated, though his son, on 
coming of age, was on mere suspicion cast into 
prison. After this it is needless to give other acts 
of perfidy ; but the cruel finesse of the following 
may justify the exception. Wishing to be rid of 
the christian Patriarch of Bagdad, whose friendship 
with the Mongols alarmed him, Beibars fabri- 
cated a letter thanking him for secret intelli- 
gence. He then arranged that the carrier should 
be waylaid, and the letter laid before the 
Mongol Governor of Bagdad, who, before the facts 
transpired, had the Patriarch beheaded as a 
traitor. 

1262,1263. Beibars was at this time in great dread of the 
Mongols, whose empire under Abagha extended 
from the Oxus to the Indian Ocean. This led to 
friendly relations with Abagha's enemy, Berekh, 
Prince of Kiptchak. The same fear induced friendly 
relations with the Keisar, who was now recovering 
from the Sixth Crusade and the terrible calamities 
inflicted on Constantinople by the Papal Court. So 
friendly were the communications, that the Keisar 
built a mosque for the Moslems at his capital ; and 
obtained from Beibars a Melchite Patriarch for 



BEIBARS 1 9 

those of tliat persuasion in his realm. Beibars a.d. 1262. 

busied himself also with envoys to Spain, Naples, 

and the Seljukes of Asia Minor ; wherever, in fact, 

he might gain support against the dreaded Mongols. 

But, after all, there was no present cause of alarm, 

the Mongols having enough to do at home ; and 

so things remained till towards the close of his 

reign. 

We turn to the great Crusade, and to the four 1263. 
. I. Cam- 

memorable campaigns by which the Christian power paign. 

was brought by Beibars near to its end. With Kerak 

conquered, and the Mongols held in hand by Berekh, 

he was now able to bring down the whole power of 

the Sultanate upon the Crusaders, who, besides other 

causes of offence, were specially obnoxious for their 

friendly relations with the Mongols. He had already 

proposed an exchange of prisoners ; but as the Franks 

demurred, he now upbraided them for their want 

of pity towards their own brothers in the faith ; and 

so he kept all his Christian slaves in hard labour 

on the fortifications of Damascus. The immediate 

cause, however, of his first campaign against 

them, was their alleged breach of treaty in 

failing to give up certain strongholds. To mark 

his displeasure, Beibars now ravaged the country 

in all directions, and demolished the Church of 

Nazareth. 

The second campaign was opened early in the 



20 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1265. following year by the siege of Csesarea, which, 

II. Cam- . . . -r . 

paigu. notwithstanding: the heavy fortifications of Louis, 

Feb. & J 

was, after five days, stormed and dismantled ; 
Beibars himself encouraging the troops, not only 
by his brave example in the field, but by himself 
labouring with them at the demolition of the walls. 
Then he attacked Arsuf, a maritime citadel a little 
April. to the south. It was manfully defended by the 
Hospital Knights for forty days ; while, on the 
opposite side, there was a marvellous outburst of 
fanatical zeal, roused by the fakeers and dervishes, 
and even by the women, who joined in working at 
the approaches under ground. Beibars, at the last, 
had to open negotiations with the garrison. Spared 
their lives, they were forced to labour at the 
destruction of their citadel and then, as trophies 
with broken crosses and inverted banners, made to 
grace the Conqueror's return to Cairo. Before leav- 
ing the field, Beibars rewarded the leading Emirs, 
some fifty or sixty in number, by endowing them 
in fieff with the fertile lands in Palestine of which 
he had now stripped the Crusaders. Copies of the 
roll in which he recorded the gift were distributed 
amongst his followers. This document describes in 
boastful terms the grandeur of the Sultan's reign, 
establishing, as it did, the true Faith by the over- 
throw of its Tartar and Crusading foes, and also 
the loyal services of the Emirs, " who glittered like 



I 



BEIBARS 2 1 

stars in the heavens, and had now received their a.d. i265. 
due reward,"^ 

In the spring of 1266 A.D., Boemund Sixth ofi266. 

III. Cam- 

Antioch having, with both Orders of Knights, paign. 
attacked Hims, Beibars sent a force to relieve it ; 
and then, with all the troops at his command, set 
out upon his third campaign. He visited Jeru- 
salem, and at Hebron gave gifts to the guardians 
of the grave of Abraham, forbidding them, at the 
same time, to allow Christian pilgrims to visit it. 
Then he crossed the Jordan by a bridge lately 
built by him, a little above the Dead Sea,^ and 

^ Written in Beibars' extravagant style, it is quoted by Macrizy, with 
tlie names of the grantees and titles of the several domains assigned 
to each. It occupies several pages of Quatremere, part ii. pp. 11-15. 

- The bridge stands to the present day, and the centre arch has an 
inscription, stating the architect's name who built it, by order of Beibars, 
dated 671 a.h. (1273 a.d.) ; see picture and article by Clermont Ganneau, 
Journal Asiatique, 1888, p. 305, " Pont de Lydda." The inscription is 
in clear Arabic letters, four lines, with figure of a lion on either side. 

See also Quatremere's Macrizy, ii. p. 26, and Palestine Exploration 
Fund, Svlj 1895, p. 253, where, in an article entitled "Stoppage of 
the Jordan in 1267 a.d.," Colonel Watson, C.M.G., quotes the account 
of Noweiry {d. 1332) as to how the Jordan was temporarily cut off, 
as in the days of Joshua, which is briefly as follows : — 

"In February 1266 a.d., the Sultan Beibars ordered a bridge of five 
arches to be built over the Jordan near Duma ; and a marvellous 
thing happened, the like whereof was never heard before. After being 
erected, one of the piers got displaced, and the Sultan being angry, sent 
the builders back to have it righted ; but the current was so strong as 
to interfere with their work. Wlien, lo ! after a time, on the night of 
December 8, 1267, the water ceased to flow ; and the bed being dry, 
they lighted fires and torches, and hastily using the opportunity, com- 
pleted repairs that would otherwise have been impossible. Riders sent 



22 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1266. advanced from thence to Ain-Jalut and the Lake 
of Tiberias. The Egyptian forces, after the relief 
of Hims, having devastated the Crusaders' lands 
from north to south, were now assembled before 
Safed, a hill fortress beyond Tiberias. Here Beibars 
pressed forward the siege with his usual zeal and 
devotion, labouring himself at the bombardment, 
and assiduously attending the sick and wounded. 
Naphtha was discharged into the fortress, and the 
fighting was fierce and sanguinary. After three 
weeks thus passed, an amnesty was granted, allow- 
ing the garrison to pass out empty-handed. They 
were nevertheless all beheaded — some two thousand 
Templars and others — on a neighbouring hill. The 
reason assigned for this savac^e act is that the 
prisoners carried arms and valuables away with 
them, or that some Moslems were found imprisoned 
in the citadel ; but such excuses will hardly suffice 
to clear the Conqueror from the dark blot that 
rests not only on his humanity but on his faith. '^ 

to find out the cause discovered that a mound some way up had 
fallen into the channel and dammed the water up. By degrees the 
mass melted into mud and broke away. And so, at the fourth hour 
of the following day, the flood came down upon the bridge, with a 
volume as high as a lance. But the repairs had been completed, and 
only the scaffolding was carried away. Truly," concludes Noweiry, 
" a marvellous thing ; and the bridge is there to the present day." 
^ Weil iv. 54 sums up the reasons assigned for this act of in- 
credible cruelty with impartiality. Two of the garrison were spared 
at the entreaty of an Emir ; but Macrizy says one embraced Islam, 
and the other was sent to carry the tidings to the Crusading arm}'. 



I 



BEIBARS 23 

Safed was now rebuilt, and on its walls engraven a.d. 1266. 
a vainglorious tale of the " Alexander of his ao;e 
and Pillar of the Faith," who had turned chapels 
into mosques, the clangour of bells into the cry 
of the Muedzzin, and the reading of the gospel 
into the recitation of the Coran, and so forth ; end- 
ing with " Victory rests with the faithful, even to 
the Day of Judgment." ^ 

It is about this time that we have the first men- 1263,1264. 
tion of Armenia in relation to the Mamelukes. In 
1262 A.D. , King Haiton, in company with the Seljukes 
of Asia Minor (both under Mongol influence), invaded 
the coasts of Syria and threatened Aintab. Beibars 
forthwith sent an army against them, on which the 
Armenians sought aid both from the Tartars of Asia 
Minor and from the Crusaders of Antioch. With this 
help they made a fresh inroad on the frontier, and laid 
siege to Harim, but owing to the snow and severity of 
the season, were obliged to retire. Beibars had now his 
turn of vengeance, ravaging not only the confines of 
Armenia, but the Crusading districts of Antioch, Akka, 
and Caesarea. Two years later, in the autumn after 1266. 
the capture of Safed, Beibars sent a force through 
the Cilician passes into Armenia, where Haiton, 
failing timely help from the Mongols, was defeated, 
one of his sons slain, and the other taken captive to 
Egypt. The whole land from Adana to Tarsus w^as 

^ The inscription occupies nearly a page in Weil. 



24 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A. 11. 1266. devastated with bloodshed and rapine, and the 
capital, Sis, subjected to all the penalties of war. An 
Armenian stronghold held by the Templars was 
stormed, the men all slain, and the women and 
children t-aken captive. Beibars himself inflicted a 
terrible fate on Kara, a Christian village on an 
eminence north of Damascus, against which there 
was a charge of catching Moslem travellers and 
selling them as slaves. Their cloister was set on 
fire, the inhabitants sold as captives, the monks cut 
in pieces, and the church turned into a mosque. 
The youths were all sent as memluke slaves to 
Egypt, where some of them rose to distinguished 
rank. Beibars, having fallen from his horse, was 
carried in a litter back to Egypt ; and in the follow- 
ing year, Haiton having submitted himself to the 
demands of the Sultan, his son was released and 

• peace restored. But he had to forswear his alliance 

with the Mongols, and give up many of the frontier 
strongholds which he had received from them. It 
had been well both for the Armenians and for the 
Crusaders, had they kept aloof from Mongol influ- 
ence which could not fail to embitter the Egyptians, 
and in the end to cause the fall of both. 

1267. In 1267 A.D. fresh ravages were made by the 

Syrian troops up to the very gates of Akka, but with 
no very marked result. It was in the following 
year that we come to the memorable fourth cam- 



BEIBARS 25 

paign. Early in the spring, after storming Shekif, a.d. 1268. 
and falling without warning upon Jaffa which had paign. 
given him serious umbrage, Beibars advanced on 
Tripolis and Antioch, resolved to wreak his ven- 
geance on Boemund their Chief, for his support of 
the Mongols in their attack on Syria. The land was 
accordingly laid waste around Tripolis, towns and 
villages ransacked, and all Franks falling into their 
hands slain. The army then advanced on Antioch. 
The Governor in a sortie was taken prisoner, and 
Beibars, willing to come to terms, sought through 
him to make the authorities surrender. Failing in 
this, he invaded and stormed the city. Egress was i9thMay. 
barred, and the inhabitants, — over one hundred 
thousand, including monks and priests, — slain or 
taken captive. Next day the garrison surrendered to 
save their lives, and were distributed, some eight 
thousand, besides women and children, with the other 
surviving inhabitants, as slaves amongst the army. 
The citadel was set on fire, and the flames spreading, 
the city was reduced to ashes. ^ The Conqueror then 
sent a letter to Boemund derisively commiserating 
with him on the sad fate of his Capital, in terms that 
overflow with vainglorious taunt and irony. 

During the next two or three years military 1269- 
operations against the Crusaders were steadily 
pursued. One stronghold after another, succour 

• 1 The sad account slioiild be read in Wilken, vol. viii. pp. 520 et seq. 



26 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.I). 1269- from the West notwithstandino- fell into the Sultan's 

127]. .... 

hands ; and in his elation, especially after the 
capture of Akkar (between Tripolis and Hims), he 
dictated another insulting letter to Boemund : 
" Our yellow flag hath overthrown thy red, and 
Allah Akbar hath put to silence thy church bells." ^ 
AVhile thus engaged, Beibars fitted out a fleet 
against Cyprus, which had given substantial aid to 
Akka, but it was wrecked by a storm as it approached 
the island. 

These were the last proceedings during the 
present reign against the Franks. Continuous 
reinforcements from the West, and fresh apprehen- 
sions from the East, led Beibars to conclude a ten 
1^75. years' treaty with Tyre and Akka ; and some little 
time after, Boemund dying, Tripolis was also ad- 
mitted as a tributary to peaceful terms. Besides 
these three cities, little now remained to the Crusad- 
ing arms. 

The Ismaelites settled in Syria, as tributary to 
the Crusaders in return for their protection, had 
long been the object of Beibars' enmity and 
of repeated attack upon their strongholds. On 
terms, however, being made with the Hospi- 



^ It is interesting to note that a town called Cosseir, belonging to 
Wilhelm, was spared on the production of a document in which the 
Caliph Omar had secured it to the Christians ; but shortly after even 
this was seized on some pretext, and Wilhelm carried off to Damascus. 



BEIBARS 27 

tallers, they now became subject to the Sultan, a.d. 1275. 
Eventually they resigned all their fortresses and 
in return received lands in Egypt. Their power 
was crushed, and they gradually disappeared, though 
we still find mention of them in the fourteenth 
century, and indeed some few survive to the 
present day.^ It is characteristic of Beibars that 
he himself was not above making use, through them, 
of the assassin's dirk. 

Relieved now of apprehension from the Franks, i-^j3-^ 
Beibars was able to turn his arms against the Mongol 
hordes which began to press upon the West. At 
the head himself of a strong battalion, he dashed 
fearlessly through the Euphrates, 1273 a.d., and 
drove the invaders completely back. The next two 
years he spent in various successful expeditions on 
the borders of Asia Minor ; and in a fearful raid 
upon the Armenians for alleged neglect of treaty. 
Sis and Massissah were given over to rapine and 
flames, and the whole land from Tarsus to Adana 
devastated. The booty was so great as to cover all 
the open ground in Antioch. 

Towards the close of his life, warlike measures 
were set on foot against Nubia, to avenge raids fre- 
quently made on Upper Egypt. The result was all the 
more successful from the dissensions that prevailed in 
the reigning family, which henceforth became entirely 

^ Burkhardt mentions several Iiundred families at Massiat. 



28 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A. D. 1272- subservient to Ec^yptian rule. The Nubians were 

1276. . . , 

defeated in a pitched battle beyond Dongola ; and as 
they refused Islam, they were forced to submit to 
the poll-tax payable by Unbelievers, and to a tribute 
of elephants, girafifes, and Nubian rarities, together 
with half the produce of the soil. The army 
returned laden with booty and slaves. We may 
remark this as the first occasion since the rise of 
Islam in which Nubia, notwithstanding frequent 
attacks, became really subordinate to Moslem 
control. 

1276,1277. The last campaign of Beibars was in some 
respects the most remarkable. The year before he 
died, a strong force had been despatched into Asia 
Minor to support the minor Seljuk prince of 
Csesarea against a Mongol deputy who had usurped 
the government. The following spring, Beibars 
himself, after a grand review, set out with a heavy 
force, and advancing through Cilicia, completely 
defeated the Mongol army near to Ablestin. As 
he approached Csesarea, the inhabitants, headed by 
the judges and nobles, came forth with music and 

April. joyful shoutings to meet him, and thus festively 
conducted him into their city. After a few days 
spent there in royal state, he found his position so 
insecure that he retired by the Blue River, and 
spent some time at Harim. Meanwhile Abagha 
with a great army had hastened from the East to 



BEIBARS 29 

avenge the defeat of his troops and restore the a.d. 1277. 
Mongol rule. Arriving at Csesarea, thus deserted May. 
by Beibars, he inflicted on its Moslem people a 
terrible revenge for the welcome accorded to the 
Egyptian Sultan, slaughtering multitudes of the 
residents there and around/ Such were the bar- 
barities of the Mongol hordes upon Armenia ; and 
such the faithlessness of Beibars, who thus hastily 
left the city which had welcomed him, to its fate ; 
rejoicing only that the enemy he feared for Syria 
had turned its steps instead towards Asia Minor. 

Returning leisurely to Antioch, he spent a month juue. 
in the groves surrounding the city, and then set out 
for Damascus. There he rested, and gave a feast of i9tii. 
his favourite Cumiz milk (the Tartar food) to his 
Emirs. An over-draught brought on fever, and 1st July 

* . * 1277. 

about a fortnight after he died. Another account, 
however, is that the bowl of which he drank was 
one poisoned for an Eyyubite Emir, of which the 
Sultan also by inadvertence drank." 

So died Beibars in the zenith of his glory. 
Brought by a slave merchant with another boy from 



1 The numbers are given at 200,000, some say even 500,000 ; ad- 
mitting all exaggeration, tlie carnage must tave been terrible. 

'- Tbe accounts vary. The writers of the day may naturally have 
refrained from a record so damaging to the Sultan. On the other 
hand, subsequent historians, as Macrizy, relate that the gallant deeds 
of an Eyyubite prince had roused the jealousy of Beibars, who thus 
got rid of him. Another curious statement is, that being an astrologer. 



30 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.T>. 1277. Kiptchak, he was originally sold at Damascus for 
800 silver pieces, but returned for a filmy defect in 
one of his blue eyes. Dusky in complexion, he was 
tall and of a commanding voice, brave and energetic, 
and ever on the move. Mounted on horse or 
dromedary, he used to see for himself all that was 
going on, whether at Cairo, Alexandria, or elsewhere. 
Fond of travel, it was said of him, " A day in 
Egypt, a day in the Hejaz ; here in Syria, now in 
Aleppo." He was addicted to a Tartar game like 
tennis, to which he would devote two days in every 
week. At his first rise to power, two of the 
Egyptian Sultans fell under his hand or that of his 
fellow-conspirators ; and in the end, from the slave- 
boy of yesterday, he rose to be a great and noble 
Sovereign, ruling uncontrolled from the Euphrates to 
the Nile, from the confines of Asia to Sawakin on 
the Red Sea. Barring the few strongholds still in 
the Crusaders' hands, his authority w^as everywhere 
unquestioned. A strong opponent of Shieism, he 
was the liberal supporter of the four Orthodox 
schools ; and, as we have seen, established an 
Abbaside Caliphate, though but a shadow and a 
name. An exemplary Moslem, he made the pil- 

the Sultan had learned that in the present year a prince was to die of 
poison at Damascus, a prediction which caused him much disquiet and 
led to his casting the predicted fate upon the Eyyubite, of whom he 
was besides jealous. It is not easy to account for the rise of such 
stories unless there were some foundation for it in fact. 



BEIBARS 3 1 

grimage to Mecca, and established many religious a.d. 1277. 
institutions. He had (apart from slave-girls) four 
wives of noble Tartar descent, and a family of sons 
and daughters, which is all in his favour, although in 
Moslem society (and specially so with the'_ Mameluke 
surroundings) the female sex is so entirely hidden 
that little or nothino; is heard of the domestic life of 
either Sultan or Emir. Beibars was a model Mame- 
luke, both in virtue and in vice ; he was not free 
from conduct not even named in the West, and 
his cruel exactions, treachery, and murderous acts 
have left a foul stain on his otherwise fair name as 
a brave, wise, and commanding Monarch.^ His 
grand achievements, his unceasing activity, his 
public works and religious endowments, as well as 
his constant appearance in public and association 
with all around him, caused his immanity to be 
forgotten ; and his name is heard to this day in the 
coffee-shops of Cairo as one of the best and greatest 
Sultans that Egypt has ever seen. 

^ In summing up his cliaracter, Macrizy mentions his forcing 
money from the rich by such horrid cruelties that many lost their 
lives. Also unheard-of enormities against the Jews and Copts of 
Cairo ; wood was gathered in a furnace, and the wretched creatures 
were about to be cast therein, when, at the entreaty of the Atabek, he 
*' pardoned " them, and contented himself with the lash, under which 
many lost their lives ; Quatremere, ii. 154 ; see also p. 16, where the 
same thing is attributed to imputations of incendiarism. One hopes 
the tale is overdrawn ; but that it should have gained currency at all, 
is evidence of the character for cruelty attributed to the Sultan. 



32 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1277. There is little doubt that Beibars looked for the 
Sultanate to continue in his line, and accordingly, 
some years previously, had proclaimed his eldest 
son, Said, while yet a boy. Successor to the throne. 
The year before his death, he had him married with 
great festivities to a daughter of Kilawun, in hope, 
no doubt, of securing that leading Emir's support to 
his son's administration. The body of Beibars was 
embalmed and buried at Damascus ; but his death 
was not known to the public till nearly a month had 
passed, for a litter had been despatched to Cairo, 
carrying, as was supposed, the sick Sultan, and it 
was not till the 30tli July that Said mounted the 
throne.* 



^ In connection a story is told of Beibars having some nine years 
before left his camp at Arsuf, and travelled unknown to Cairo, where, 
watching how things went on, he remained concealed in the Citadel, 
the army believing all the time that he lay sick in camp. 



CHAPTER IV 

SAID — KILAWUN 

1277-1290 A.D. 

Said, a vain and foolish youth, nineteen years of age, a.d. 1277. 

was cruel and treacherous like his Father, but utterly 

devoid of the Father's ability. Under the influence 

of his Mother, a few weeks after assuming the 

sceptre, he poisoned his Father's Vizier and cast others 

of his Father's oflacers into prison. Then yielding 

himself to the counsel of his young memlukes, he 

alienated the great body of the Emirs, who began to 

fear his designs ao;ainst them. To divert their 

attention, a campaign was started for Armenia ; but 

Said, with his Mother, remained behind at Damascus. 

Meanwhile the leaders with the army and Kilawun 

at their head, made aware of Said's unfriendly 

intentions, hurried back, and marching straight for 

Cairo, barred the city against him. He gained 

entrance, however, by stealth into the Citadel, but, 

after a week's siege, w^as allowed to abdicate and 

retire to Kerak. His uneventful reign had lasted 

little more than two years. 
3 



O" 



34 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1279. KiLAWUN, the leading Emir, and father-in-law of 

Nov. 

Said, was now called on to take the reins, w^iich he 

did at first as Atahek, or guardian, of another son of 

Beibars, — a mere child. But shortly after, dropping 

the pretence, he assumed the Sultanate in his own 

name. 

1280. The following year, Sonkor, governor of Damascus, 

rebelled, and set himself up as Sultan. This threw 

Kilawun into distress, for he feared the adherents of 

Beibars' family, as well as the approach of the Mongols, 

and the Bedouins also, who would gladly have seen 

the kingdom of Syria independent as in former 

times of Egypt. After repeated engagements, Sonkor 

was obliged to fly, Damascus was reoccupied, and 

peace restored. The rebellious Emirs both of Egypt 

and Damascus, and eventually Sonkor himself, were 

treated with magnanimity and restored to favour, — 

a well-advised, as well as generous, course, by which 

the Sultan gained their affection and support.^ 

1280. Peace had hardly been restored, when the 

Mongols began again to fall upon the Syrian border 

with the same outrages as twenty years before. The 

district of Aleppo was visited with such savage 

cruelty that the people fled south ; while Damascus 

fell into so great a terror that multitudes escaped 

1 Among the inhabitants of Damascus thns pardoned was Ibn 
Khallican the great historian, who, as chief Cazie of the city, had 
given a/rtiico in favour of Sonkor's claims. 



KILAWUN 35 

for refuge into Egypt. Kilawun repeatedly led his -a.u. i280. 
troops against these hordes ; but they retired for 
the moment without coming to any decisive battle. 
The Hospital Knights of Markab bad taken advantage 
of this invasion to plunder the Moslems in their 
vicinity. For this imprudence they were now 
attacked by the Sultan. But having sued for peace, 
were admitted to a ten years' truce ; and so was also 
Boemund of Tripolis, for the Sultan was still in 
dread of the Mongols. 

About the same time a conspiracy was formed 
ao-ainst the Sultan's life. It is remarkable as havinsf 
been discovered by friends of Kilawun in Akka, 
where the conspirators confided to the Franks that it 
was useless to treat with the Sultan, as his life would 
soon be cut off, — showing a freedom of communica- 
tion between the Emirs and the Franks one would 
hardly have looked for. The conspirators confessed, 
and sought for mercy, but were all put to death. 
The suspicion extended to a number of memlukes, 
who were cast into prison, while several hundred 
adherents of the Beibars family escaped to the 
Mongols. The party thus attached to the late 
Sultan's house, and called after one of his titles 
Zdhirites, maintained a permanent position in the 
politics of the State, as we shall hereafter see. 

The Sultan then revisited Damascus to solemnise i28i. 
the obsequies of Said, who had died at Kerak, and 



36 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1281. whose remains were now carried by his Mother to be 
laid beside those of his father Beibars. While there, 
the Mongol hordes, under Abagha and his brother 
Mengu-timur, again poured into northern Syria. 
Straining every nerve, Kilawun gathered an army of 
Egyptians and Syrians, Bedouins and Turcomans, 
50,000 strong, and with it advanced to Hims. 
There Mengu met him with an equal force, one-third 
of which were Georgians, Armenians, and Greeks. 

Oct. A fierce fight ensued, which at the first declared 

itself against the Sultan ; so much so, that in despair 
he took refuge with a thousand horse on a neighbour- 
ing height. But the Mongols hastening for plunder 
to Hims, reversed the fortune of the day. Mengu 
was unhorsed and wounded ; his army fled, and was 
cut to pieces ; and shortly after, he died, either from 
orief or of his wounds. The following year Abagha 
also died. 

The Egyptian triumph marks an important epoch 
in the destinies of the East. If, as seemed at one 
time likely, fortune iiad told otherwise, not only 
might Egypt have fExllcn into Mongol hands, but the 
Christian tendencies of Abagha might have changed 
the fate of Syria. For while some of the Eastern 
potentates were gradually afiecting Islam, Abagha 
stood firm in his preference of the Christian faith. 
Indeed, throughout his reign, he kept sending em- 
bassies — as in 1267 and 1276 a.d. — to the Pope and 



KILAWUN 37 

other Euro23eaii Courts, in which he urged a fresh a.d. 1281 
Crusade and war with Egypt. His brother, on suc- 
ceeding to the throne, adopted the Moslem creed, with 
the corresponding name of Ahmed ; and communica- 
tions, though not always of a friendly character, 
passed between him and Kilawun. But taken captive, 
he was put to death by his nephew Argun, who was 
as favourable to Christianity as had been his father 
Abagha. Like him, he not only sent deputations to 
the christian Courts, but (1291 a.d.) offered to place the 
resources of his kingdom at the service of the Pope with 
the view of driving the Egyptians out of Syria ; and 
he even intimated the intention, so soon as Jerusalem 
should again fEill into Christian hands, of being him- 
self baptized.^ But the negotiations came to nothing. 
Hostilities were dropped between Kilawun and the 
Mongols. No attempt was made to avenge the 
defeat of Hims, and the conversion of the Mongol 
house to Islam soon established matters on the same 
footing as they had been upon before. 

Kilawun kept up the friendship which Beibars 
had formed with the Prince of Kiptchak, who, 



^ Argun favoured both Jews and Christians. A Jewish chancellor 
had a distinguished role at Bagdad ; and we read of Christian mission- 
aries being well received in Persia. The communications of the 
Mongol princes with the Pope and European Courts are of singular 
interest ; two original letters of Argun and Oeljeitu in the Mongol 
tongue, to Philip the Fair, are still extant (Weil, iv. p. 152). Abagha 
had a Christian wife, an illegitimate daughter of the Keisar. 



38 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.I). 1281. announcing that he had become a Moslem, begged 
that a suitable title and escutcheon might be con- 
ferred upon him. Embassies were also received from 
Yemen, with gifts of eunuchs, elephants, spices, and 
parrots. There was correspondence even with the 
King of Ceylon, through whom Kilawun sought 
to encourage commerce with the East. Friendly 
relations were at the same time maintained with 
Constantinople and various European Courts. 
Towards the close of his life, the Sultan con- 
cluded commercial arrangements with Genoa, and 
even entered into a kind of defensive treaty with 
Castile and Sicily. 

But not the less, relieved as he now was from 
fear of the Mongols, did he turn his army, wherever 

1280. opportunity offered, against Christianity in the East. 
His treatment of Armenia was in the last degree 
threatening and oppressive ; and it was only by a 
crushing tribute, and the surrender of all Moslem 
captives (while the Armenian captives were kept in 
slavery), that Leo obtained a truce. With what still 
remained to the Crusaders in Syria, Kilawun lost no 
opportunity of mortal conflict. He was ready, in- 
deed, as occasion offered, to enter into treaty with 
them ; but it was not difficult at the convenient time 
to find pretext, or it might sometimes be good cause, 
for evasion, Latakia was seized though included in 
the treaty of Tripolis ; and Tripolis itself was attacked 



KILAWUN 39 

on an apparently insufficient cause/ It was a grand a.d. 1280. 
city, populous and well defended ; but, though helped 
from Cyprus, it was, after a month's siege, taken by 
storm, the male inhabitants massacred, and the 
women and children reduced to slavery. Not long 
after, some Moslem merchants having complained of 
being outraged on their approach to Akka,^ the long- 
looked-for opportunity was taken of proclaiming a 
campaign against this, the last seat of the Crusades. 
The project, however, was not popular with the 
Emirs, who feared the strength of the citadel. The 
Sultan accordingly obtained from the Law officers a 
deliverance that the insults offered to the merchants 
formed a ground sufficient for Jehad ; and liavino- 
accordingly proclaimed a Holy war, he set out, with 
great preparations, for the siege ; but he died on the 1290. 
way, and left the task for his successor. 

During this reign there were two rather fruitless 
campaigns against Nubia, and warfare also against 
the Bedouins, who kept Palestine and Upper Egypt 

' On the death of Buemund, his sister claimed the succession. 
Bertram of Ghibelet Avas promised the Sultan's aid to oppose that 
claim, on stipulation of becoming tributai-y. But Boemund's sister 
having waived her claim, Bertram thought liimself released from the 
compact, and this Kilawun seized as the casus belli for which he had 
been waiting. 

- The most received account is that there really were excesses com- 
mitted on some Moslem traders by certain rapacious servants of the 
Pope, sent, in the train of a bishop, to Tripolis. For other accounts, 
see Wilken, vii. pp. 721 et seq. 



40 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

.D. 1290. ill continual alarm. There was also fighting at 
Mecca, where Yemen contested with Egj^pt the 
supremacy of the Holy city. But with Kilawun 
these things were secondary to the war in Syria. 
He possessed no fewer than twelve thousand mem- 
lukes, Circassians as well as Mongols. Between 
three and four thousand of these were quartered in 
the Citadel, and hence (as we have seen) called 
Burjites ; so named as distinguished from the Bali- 
rites.^ These memlukes, their great numbers not- 
withstanding, were kept in perfect order, and we 
hear as yet of none of the excess and outrage which 
by and by made the very name a terror. 
^ Kilawun is praised by the historians of the day as 

a mild and upright ruler. He certainly deserves the 
commendation when compared with others of his race ; 
but, as we have seen, he could be cruel and treacherous 
and, as occasion required, could also cast aside the most 
sacred oaths. He was not so bloodthirsty as Beibars, 
but towards Christians he was less tolerant, for he 
excluded them from all share in public offices, and 
his treatment of the Crusaders was vindictive and to 
the last degree remorseless. Jealous, and at times 
tyrannical, some of his punishments were barbarous 

'' Bee above, p. 5. Kilawun gave his slaves a lighter dress, witli 
turbans more suitable for the climate. Tlie previous style affected more 
the European military costume. For the Citadel l)arracks at foot of 
the Mokallam Hill, see Frontisjncre. 



KILAWUN 41 

in the extreme. For example, a bandit stretched a. d. 1290. 
upon a camel's back (a punishment we begin to hear 
too much of) was paraded about the city streets till 
he died ; and a Christian was buried alive for having 
married a Moslem, while the poor woman had her 
nose cut off/ But, with all his defects, he was a 
wise and beneficent monarch. The memorial which 
chiefly claimed the gratitude of the people was an 
immense edifice built outside the city for a hospital, 
college, and mausoleum. Spacious rooms were fitted 
up with beds for the sick, whether rich o^ poor, and 
specially for women ; while there were lectureships, 
laboratories, and every sort of medical appliances. In 
the mausoleum, fifty Coran readers were ever at their 
sacred duty. The library was plentifully furnished 
with works of every sort, and supplied with librarians 
at public call. There were lecturers for the several 
Orthodox schools of theology ; while a Children's 
seminary, Infant school, and Orphan asylum complete 
a description reminding us of like institutions nearer 
home. Architecture began now to receive attention 
from abroad, with fruits that rapidly developed in 
the coming reigns. For these and other public 
services, Kilawun's name has survived in Cairo to 
the present day. 

Kilawun was asjed seventy when he died. One 1290. 

* -^ 10th Nov. 

^ Moslems may marry Christian Avomen, but Christians are forbidden 
to marry Moslem women. 



42 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1290. of his titles was Alalfi, or the Thousander, from the 
heavy price paid for him when a beautiful youth/ 
He left three sons and two daughters. On the death 
of his eldest son, he had the next, Khalil, proclaimed 
as his Successor. In later life he took to wife the 
daughter of a Mongol prince, who, like many others, 
had wandered into Egypt, and by her had a son 
called Nasir, of whom we shall hear more hereafter. 



1 A thousand golden pieces were on two occasions given for him. 
This being one of his royal titles is suggestive, showing as it does that, 
instead of being ashamed of their servile origin, the Mamelukes gloried 
in it. 



CHAPTER V 

KHALIL, SON OF KILA\YUN 

1290-1293 A.D. 

Khalil succeeded peacefully. He wanted his father's a.d. m 
grace and wisdom, and was of an arrogant and ruth- 
less nature. Finding the patent of appointment 
unsigned by Kilawun, who would have preferred 
Nasir had he been of age, the young Sultan put the 
Vizier to death, and conceived a cruel hatred towards 
all the adherents of his Father, whom he removed 
from office, and in their stead appointed minions of 
his own. He had no respect for life, and indulged 
in such caprice, that after incarcerating an opponent, 
he would anon restore him to favour, and sometimes 
ao-ain seize and torture, and even put the WTetched 
man to death. The page is full of such enormities. 

In one thing, however, he followed close upon his 1291. 
Father's steps, and that was in the resolve to drive the 
Crusaders out of Syria. He inaugurated the design 
by a solemn service in his father's mausoleum, and dis- 
tributed larojess to the Cazies and Doctors of the law. 



43 



44 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1291. Then lie summoned to Damascus all the governors 
of Syria, requiring them to furnish the heavy draught 
for drao-oino; to the walls of Akka the material and 
machines of war. The city was then invested and 
ninety-two catapults set against its ramparts. There 
was a brave defence, as well as help from Cyprus ; l)ut 
fatal jealousies (the bane of the Crusaders from first 
to last) prevailed even in this their dire extremity, 
and great numbers of the garrison sailed away. 

18th May. After a siege of three - and - forty days the place 
was stormed— a tale of terror, for the men were 
all slain or taken prisoners, and the women and 
children sent in slavery to Egypt. Even the 
Knights, to whom a safe-conduct had been promised, 
were mercilessly butchered.^ The city was burned, 
and the walls dismantled. It had been in the 
Crusaders' hands just one hundred years. All 
places still held by them w^ere now abandoned,^ and 
the fate of Bey rut in cold-blooded slaughter vies 
wdth that of Akka. (3n Khalil's return, Cairo w^as 
decked out, and grand festivities prepared for his 
reception, A crowd of captive Franks in fetters 
graced the triumphal entry, followed by their con- 
querors carrying the banners of the Cross reversed, 

^ The reason given is, tliat when the enemy rushing in abused tlie 
women and children, the Cliristians closed the gates upon them and 
slew the guilty Moslems. See Wilken, viii. -p. 765. See also Weil, 
note iv. p, 181 — a tale of horrors. 

^ Tyre, Sidon, Haifa, and Athlith are named. 



KHALIL 45 

and tlieir victims' heads aloft upon their lances, a.d. 1291. 
Thus, after two centuries of a chequered life, main- 
tained by means abhorrent from the teaching of the 
Prince of peace, the great Crusade came to a sad 
end ; and (as Gibbon closes the melancholy story) "a 
mournful and solitary silence prevailed along the 
coast, which had so long resounded with the World's 
del Kite.'' 

With nothing left to occupy him in Syria, Khalil 1292. 
now turned his arms against the Mongols ; and 
religious services were again repeated in the 
mausoleum to rouse enthusiasm for a fresh Jehad. 
From Aleppo, the Egyptian forces proceeded to 
storm Kalaat Riim, where the whole o-an-ison, 
Armenians and Mongols, were slain and the women 
carried off as slaves. In the height of his vanity, 
Khalil wrote a circular to his Governors announcing 
that he had changed the name of Kalaat Rum to 
Kalaat Muslimin (citadel of the Moslems), and 
glorifying himself as " destined to conquer the East 
from the rising of the sun to the going down of the 
same." But immediately the Mongols appeared, 
though too late to save the city, he forthwith left 
and retired to Syria. 

After some unimportant expeditions the young 1293. 
Sultan returned to Cairo, and crossed the Nile on a 
hunting expedition. While thus engaged he was 
assassinated by a party of Emirs, who could no 



46 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1293. longer endure his overbearing and cruel treatment. 
These, again, were pursued by the favourites of 
Khalil, — the Emir Ketbogha being at their head. The 
chief conspirator was put by them to death, though 
he pleaded in their presence that the iniquities of 
the late Sultan had left them no alternative ;— his 
shameless licence with the youths around (he cried) 
and indulo;ence even durino; the Fast in wine, besides 
the inhuman treatment of his Father's friends, casting- 
some into dungeons and then putting them to death, 
justified the act. It was all too true, but it did 
not serve to save him. 

The Sultan's body, left for two days upon the 
ground, was buried by a villager on the spot ; but 
eventually transferred by his followers to his vault 
outside Cairo, He left two daughters, but no son. 
His reign lasted about three years. 

The name of Khalil is naturally exalted by 
Moslem writers as that of a successful combatant in 
the interests of Islam. But it may no less l)e 
rememl)ered that the final blow to the soldiers of 
the Cross was dealt by one of a character so low 
as that which the same historians ascribe to the 
Sultan Khalil. 



CHAPTER VI 

NASIR, SON OF KILAWUN KETBOGHA — LACHIN 

1293-1299 A.D. 

The next five years give us little more than a a.i). 1293. 
tale of conspiracies and assassinations following- 
one hard upon another. Nasir, Kilawun's younger 
son, now nine years of age, was, on his brother's 
death, unanimously elected Sultan ; and (though 
destined to reign two-and-forty years) was deposed 
after a year by Ketbogha, and he again by Lachin, 
when, on the murder of the latter, Nasir, as we shall 
see, was called again to the throne. 

This first Sultanate of Nasir was but nominal. Dec. 
Ketbogha as Regent, and Shujai governor of the 
city as Vizier, held the reins in their own hands. 
They put to death, with horrid cruelties, all they 
could lay hands upon connected with the conspiracy 
against Khalil. Eight of these had their hands and 
feet cut oif, and then, stretched on camels, were 
paraded about the town till they expired. Even 

the favourite Vizier of the late Sultan, havino- in- 

47 ^ 



48 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1293. currecl their jealousy, was laid hold of, and tortured 
to death for his vast treasures. 

Soon, however, jealousies sprang up between the 
two. Shujai had all the Burjites in the Citadel at 
his command ; while Ketbogha, himself a Mongol, 
was supported by the rapidly increasing Mongol 
party. An attempt by Shujai to entrap Ketbogha 
as he entered the Citadel led to an open conflict : 
the Citadel was besieged and Shujai assassinated. 
Left thus alone, Ketbogha aspired to the Sultanate, 
and to attain his end made friends with Lachin and 
other conspirators against the late Sultan. This so 
offended the adherents of Kilawun's house that, 
joined by the discontented factions, they rose in 
rebellion against Ketbogha, attacked the markets 
and public offices, and made the city for a day and 
night the scene of tumult and disaster. The rulers, 
at last put to flight, were caught, and their leaders 
slain or mutilated.^ The outbreak afforded Ketbooha 
fair excuse for holding that the administration was 
no longer safe in the hands of a child ; and so Nasir 
was deposed and sent away to Kerak. 

1294. Ketbogha, thus elevated to the Sultanate, was 

Dec. 

weak enough to fill the offices of State with his own 
creatures, as well as raise a great number of his own 

1 Macrizy tells us tliat some had both hands and feet cut off, 
and tongues cut out, and others hung up at the city gates. Some three 
Imndred were treated thus. 



I 



NASIR KETBOGHA LACHIN 49 

slaves to be Emirs, and thus alienate the older nobility, a.d. 1294. 
He was unfortunate, too, in the welcome given by him 
to the Yurats — a wild Tartar tribe of some eighteen 

o 

thousand families which, expelled from Persia, he 
now settled in Syria. Though gradually adopting 
the Moslem faith, this horde was hateful to the 
people for their heathen habits, especially that of 
feeding on horse-flesh; and Ketbogha's adoption of 
the race caused him much obloquy. A prolonged 1295. 
famine, succeeded by the pest, also occasioned much 
distress and loss for which, as usual, the Sultan was 
held responsible.^ To meet the deficit of revenue, he 
made a circuit with his army through Syria and 
extorted what he could from the various provinces. 
But his overbearing treatment continued to alienate 
the Emirs ; and on a hunting expedition at Hims 
the was set upon in his tent, and barely escaped by 
flying to Damascus ; where, finding that Lachin was 
the popular candidate, he gave himself up and swore 
allegiance to him as his Successor. 

Lachin, or Lajin, thus bv general consent elected 1297. 

" ^ . Nov. 

to the Sultanate, had been at first a slave of Eibek 
and then of Kilawun by whom he was freed, and then 
gradually rising to the Emirate, eventually became 

^ The price of a water-melon rose to 100 dirliems. In Cairo 
17,500 died of the pest in a single month ; and Ibn Ayas says that 
altogether 70,200 died. The dead bodies, lying all about, were cast 
into the river or devoured by dogs, which again were killed and eaten 
by the starving poor. 
4 



50 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1297. Governor of Syria. He was well received on his 
return to Cairo ; and was there inducted by the 
Caliph who followed, as he rode through the city, 
in his train. The people were pleased because, on 
the return of plenty, he was able to remit all out- 
standing taxes occasioned by the dearth.^ But 
Lachin soon fell helplessly under the influence of 
one of his slaves called Menkutimur. Raised to high 
ofHce, this minion became the real ruler ; and, by 
treating all around him with capricious severity and 
exaction, roused dangerous dissatisfaction. 

1298. To divert the attention of his embittered Court, 
Lachin organised an expedition against Armenia. 
The time was favourable, for the kingdom w^as just 
then the subject of a contested succession ; and 
Ghazan ruler of Persia, its ally, was engaged with 
enemies in the East. The King of Armenia sought 
by submissive terms to stay the attack ; but that 
would have defeated Lachin's object to keep the 
Emirs out of his way ; and so the army went on, 
ravaged the land from Sis to Adana, and returned 
to Syria laden with spoil. The Sultan sent them 
back again to capture certain strongholds ; one of 
which, Nejimeh, was besieged for forty days before 
surrendering. 

1299. In the beginning of the following year, Lachin 
sent off Kiptchak, a leading Emir, with a force to 

' The ardeb of wheat fell from IGO to 20 dirhems. 



Jan 



LACHIN 51 

Aleppo on the rumour of a Mongol attack, but in a.d. 1299. 
reality with secret orders that he and his friends 
should be poisoned or otherwise made away with. 
Anticipating the danger, Kiptchak, with his Emirs 
and their memlukes 500 in number, escaped to 
Persia ; there, being well received by Ghazan, they 
stirred him up to an attack on Syria ; the result of 
which, however, belongs to the following reign. 

The rule of Lachin, or rather, one might say, of 
Menkutimur, continued to embitter the Emirs whose 
revenues were affected by a new distribution of the 
various claims upon the public domains.^ At last 
two of the leaders, unable longer to stand their 
affronts, took advantage of the absence of the army 
to assassinate the Sultan as by night he played 
at chess in the Palace ; and, immediately after, 
Menkutimur also. They then assumed the govern- 
ment ; but after three days' rule, the troops, 
re-entering Cairo, put them both to death. It was 
then resolved to recall Nasir from Kerak, and 
meanwhile a Council of eight conducted the 
administration. 

Lachin is praised as an exemplary Moslem, 
indulging neither in wine nor forbidden games, and 



1 There were twenty-four endowments {carat), ten for the Emirs, 
ten for the army, and four for the Sultan and his Court. The latter 
were reduced or redistributed in a way that alienated both the Emirs 
and the army. 



52 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1299. fasting three months in the year. He had for his 
wife a daughter of Beibars. His chief fault lay in 
the facile elevation of his own memlukes, and the 
way in which he became the passive agent of 
Menkutimur. Otherwise he bears a character much 
above that of the ordinary Sultan.^ 

1 Curiously enough, Western authorities will have it that Lachiu 
was a German converted to Islam. But this must be fable, as we 
have native authority for his history from the time he was bought 
as a slave-boy, then probably not more than eight years of age. Some 
say he was a Greek. 



CHAPTER VII 

NASIR's second reign BEIBARS II 

1299-1310 A.D. 
Recalled with cries of joy to the throue Nasir, yet a.d. 1299. 

Fel). 

but fourteen years of age, was of necessity in the 
hands of his ministers. Sallar was Regent, and 
Beibars president of the Palace. As such, the latter 
had the Burjite memlukes at his command ; the 
former, the independent Emirs. Each sought, as 
usual, to outvie the other in the elevation of his 
followers ; and jealousies were becoming rife when 
attention was called off to fresh and dangerous 
ravag;es of the Mongols. 

The chronic hostility of Central Asia had been Autmnu. 
quickened of late by the attacks of the Sultan on 
Armenia, by the reception at Cairo of rebel Mongols, 
and now by the cry of Kiptchak and his brother 
refugees. News of the inroad thus precipitated, 
reached Egypt in the autumn of 1299 a.d. Setting 
out with a powerful army, the Sultan made but 



54 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A. P. 1299. little haste, and was besides detained on the way 
by a dangerous conspiracy of the Yurat leaders who, 
joined by discontented Emirs, jDlotted to assassinate 
the Sultan and his ministers, and to restore their 
friend Ketbogha to the throne. The conspirators met 
with condign punishment, and the army passed on. 
News that Ghazan, with 100,000 Mongols, had 
passed the Euphrates now hastened the Egyptian 
march, and the two armies met at Salamia, to the 
north of Hims. There the Egyptians, being but a 

23rd Dec. third of their enemy, suffered a crushing defeat and 
lied panicstruck. The Mongols, though with the 
loss of 14,000, carried all before them ; and 
Damascus, deserted by its troops and by all who 
could escape, was in terrible consternation. But 
Ghazan, when he reached the city, graciously received 

30tii Dec. a deputation of the leading men, and stopped all 
further outrage. For this end a royal Firman 
proclaimed in the Omeyyad Mosque protection for 
all, even for Jews and Christians, and good govern- 
ment throughout Egypt so soon as it came under 
Mongol rule.^ Though Damascus was thus saved, 
its environs, and indeed the whole of Syria, had a 
sad experience of rapine and plunder. A Mongol 

1 Tlie long Firman is given by Noweiry in full, abounding in 
texts of the Goran and abuse of the Egyptian Government, In 
promising protection for Jews and Ghristians, an interesting saying is 
quoted from Aly : " The People of the Book pay tribute that their 
blood may be as our l)lood, and their goods as our goods ! " 



I 



nasir's second reign 55 

Viceroy was placed over it, and Kiptchak rewarded a.d. i30o. 
with the government of Damascus, though the 
citadel still held out/ For the moment it seemed 
to all intents as if the land had passed into Mongol 
hands. Ghazan, however, was content for the 
present to threaten an early return, and after a Feb. 
month retired. 

Meanwhile the Egyptian troops, casting aside 
their arms and uniform, had fled from the battle- 
field in utter confusion past Damascus to Cairo, 
which the young Sultan reached with hardly a 
follower about him. Measures were immediately 
taken to repair the disaster. Prodigious exactions 
supplied the means,^ and in a couple of months the March. 
army left to reconquer Syria ; but the Mongols had 
already left, and so Damascus was reoccupied and 
Syria restored without further fighting. Kiptchak 
and his fellow-exiles were pardoned, but Damascus 
now sufiered again from its Egyptian masters ; for 
such of the inhabitants as had stayed on and 
been friendly to the Mongols, were now visited 
with terrible retribution. And as Ghazan had 
promised to return again in the autumn, the 
city was kept in a state of chronic terror. Heavy 

1 It was now the custom to place the citadels in Syria not under 
the city Governors, but under separate Commanders. 

2 Such an enormous amount of gold was raised and put into the 
market to equip the troops that, compared with silver, the dinar fell 
from 25 to 17 dirhems, and the rate was eventually fixed at 20. 



56 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1300. burdens, too, were laid both on Egypt and on 
Syria. 

It was not till late in the year that Ghazan 
again marched westward, but the winter proved so 
severe that, after an attack on Antioch, he retraced 
his steps. Up to this time Ghazan, though a Moslem, 
had hoped, like his predecessors, for the aid of 
christian Powers in wresting Syria from Mameluke 
domination. As late as 1302 a.d. we read of 
embassies to the Courts of England and France ; 
and there is a correspondence extant in which he 
complains bitterly that the West held back from his 
support.^ Despairing at last of Western aid, he 
thought of making peace with Egypt, and accord- 

1301. iugly sent an embassy with a despatch, in which. 

May. 

after reproaching the Sultan for unprovoked attacks 
upon his territory, he threatened reprisals if his 
terms were not agreed to. In Nasir's name a 
Oct. haughty answer was returned ; — Ghazan was re- 

proached with the sins of his father and of his heathen 
ancestors, and upbraided for making common cause 
with European Powers which fought against the 
Caliph and his faith ; but while scorning threats of 
an attack, the message ends with the assurance that 



^ See M. Remnsat in Mem. de I'Acad. vol. vii. p. 388, where King 
Edward's reply, 12tli March 1302 a.d., is mentioned. There was still 
a Crusading spirit abroad, and Genevese ladies even were prepared to 
join the enterprise. 



I 



NASm's SECOND REIGN 57 

should Ghazan change his tone, the Sultan would a.d. isoi. 
be as ready for peace as he.^ On receipt of this 
intemperate despatch, Ghazan resolved on war ; but 
he meanwhile allowed a year to pass in peace. 

The interval was improved by Egypt in a well- 1302. 
planned attack on the Bedouins who, pretending a 
government of their own, infested the whole of Upper 
Egypt. Sallars and Beibars themselves took the field ; 
and the army in three divisions closed in upon the 
enemy from all sides, slew^ mercilessly every Bedouin 
in the land, and carried oft' their women captive. 
Another expedition chastised Armenia for its support May. 
of the Mongols ; and advancing towards Sis, cruelly 
devastated that unhappy land again. Somewhat 
later, a fleet was despatched against the Templars, Oct. 
who still occupied Aradus,^ and from thence made 
raids upon the coast. The island was now taken, 
and the Christian inhabitants slain ; while only 280 
who occupied the tower survived as captives. So 
ended this unhappy remnant of the great Crusade. 

At last came the long-threatened attack of the 1303. 
Mongol host. Ghazan, however, retired from it 
before reaching Syria, and left the command to his 
father-in-law Kotlushah. It was spring when the 



1 The despatch, a model of Oriental pomposity, occupies nine pages 
of Weil, and is weary reading. It abounds with quotations from the 
Goran. 

2 Eudd, opposite Tertosa (Tartus). 



58 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1303. Egyptian army, with Nasir, now a youth of eighteen, 
at its head, marched from Damascus, — from which in 
terror every soul that could had fled;^ and that same 
evening, at the plain of Merj SofFar, they met the 
Mongol army which, with its Armenian and Georgian 

21st April, contingents, was 100,000 strong. Next day the 
battle was fought. At first it seemed as if the 
Egyptians would again be beaten, for the right wing- 
turned and fled. But the rest stood firm, and beat 
back with fearful slaughter the crowded hordes, 
which on the following day escaped in j^^^^i't w^ith 
difficulty and loss into the desert.^ Nasir returning 
to Damascus, there spent a month in triumph, and 
sent a despatch to Gliazan which vies with that of 
Beibars to Boemund in the bombast of its exultation, 
and the threat of overthrowins; Asia to its farthest 
end. The rejoicings on the way to Cairo were truly 
Oriental. The road was so laid with carpets that 
the hoofs of the Sultan's charger did not touch the 
ground ; and he entered the capital in such triumph 
" as had not been ever seen before."^ 

1 The consternation at the Mongols' near approach was so great that 
500 to 1000 pieces were offered for any kind of beast to ride away 
upon, and men deserting their families took refuge in the citadel, 

- Noweiiy and Abnlfeda, two of our authorities, were present in 
this battle. 

^ The rejoicings were followed by an earthquake ; and Macrizy 
adds that the music and rejoicings throughout the land were so extra- 
vagant and inidevout, that men might have been thankhil even for an 
earthquake to jiut an end to them. 



NASm's SECOND REIGN 59 

In Persia there was a different tale. At Tabriz a.d. 1303. 
the wailings lasted for weeks. Ghazan, sick with 
grief, retired from public view. A. new army w^as 
gathered in the hope that Europe would aid in a 
fresh attack on Syria ; but Ghazan died before the 
design could be carried into execution. He was a 
good and just ruler, and the best of the Ilkhans. 
The Mongol power in Persia had now reached its 
height; but what with troubles at home and at 
Herat, the West was spared from further attack in 
that direction. 

During the next two years, the unfortunate 1.304,1305 
Armenians were again attacked for having joined 
the Mongols. The country was as usual plundered, 
and the fortress of Tell Hamdun taken and des- 
troyed ; the Armenian chiefs who defended it were 
put to death, excepting one who saved his life by 
embracing Islam. Peace was restored on the Prince 
of Sis paying up the arrear of tribute that was 
due. A campaign was also led against the Druses 
in their mountain retreat of Kesrawan.^ < 

About this time, severe restrictions were issued 
aojainst Jews and Christians, which owed their 
origin to a somewhat unexpected cause. The Court 
of Arragon having sent an embassy for the re- 
opening of certain Churches and the release of a 
Christian prisoner, the prayer wns granted ; but 

^ Between Tripoli and Damascus. 



60 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1305. as the party on its return was embarking at 
Alexandria, the Sultan bethought him that a 
ransom should have been demanded for the cap- 
tive, and sent to bring him back. The Spaniards 
not only refused, but carried off the messengers 
from Cairo with them. This roused Egyptian 
hostility against the Christians ; and, reclamation 
from European powers notwithstanding, the in- 
tolerant rules of Omar ii. were reimposed.^ Not 
only were these mercilessly enforced, but popular 
attacks upon the Christians were allowed, if not 
encouraged, by Beibars. They were rigidly de- 
barred from public office and employment. The 
restrictions as to dress and riding were sternly 
enforced ; and such churches and synagogues as 
had been built since the rise of Islam, were to be 
demolished. An edict to this effect was promul- 
gated throughout the kingdom, from the Euphrates 
to Nubia, and the position became so intolerable 
that great numbers emigrated or were driven over 
to Islam. The edict, it is true, like similar edicts 
before it, gradually fell into abeyance, but the 
chances of its reinforcement hung continually, like 
the sword of Damocles, over the heads of the un- 
happy people.^ 

1 See Califhate, p. 377. 

2 It may be of interest to give an outline of the edict. To 
distinguish Jews and Christians at a glance, the latter must wear 



I 



NASIRS SECOND REIGN 61 

During the next few years, party spirit ran a.d. isor.. 
so high between Beibars and Sallar and their 
respective factions, that it came often near to an 
open fight. A campaign having been set on foot 
against Yemen for withholdinsj its tribute, Sallar 
sought by taking the command to regain the chief 
power ; but Beibars, seeing the design, interposed ; 
and so the project fell through. Nasir was not 
only deprived of all hand in the affairs of State, 
but to lessen his influence was kept so short of 
means as to be often half-starved. A Vizier who, 
touched by his want, ventured to advance him 
money for presents to his ladies, was seized by 
Sallar and tortured to death ; and all the while 
Sallar was amassing vast treasures for himself, 
and on a pilgrimage to Mecca spent them in 

a blue turban, the former a yellow one ; tlieir women must be 
recognisable by a peculiar covering over the breast. Forbidden to 
carry weapons or mount a horse, they might ride on mules, but only 
sideways, and with no decoration on the saddle. They must give 
way to Moslems, and leave them the middle of the road. In 
assemblies, they must rise uji before Believers and subordinate the 
voice to theirs. Palm Sunday must not be observed with any 
public festivity. Christians are prohibited the use of bells for worship ; 
nor may they in anj^ way attempt the conversion of a Moslem. They 
are forbidden to possess Moslem slaves or captives, or anything that 
may have fallen to Moslem arms as booty. Should they resort to a 
public bath, they must have a bell tied about the neck. Thej^ are for- 
Ijidden Arabic inscriptions on their rings, nor may their children learn 
the Goran. They may exact no heavy work from Mussulman labourers ; 
and any familiarity with a Moslem female is to be met by death. 

Kerak and Shaubek were the only places where the edict was 
not published, as being very largely peopled by non-Mussulmans. 



62 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1308. princely style and benefactions to the needy 
there. 

As Nasir advanced into manhood, he felt the 
indignity the more thus cast upon him. Seeking 
to get rid of his two masters, he plotted with the 
Governor of the Citadel, within which they lived, to 
arrest them both. But this coming prematurely to 
light, it would have fared badly with the young 
Sultan, had not a popular demonstration been 
aroused in his favour. He was forced, however, 
to send his immediate attendants into exile, and 
the state of things became for him even worse 
than before. 

1309. For another year he submitted to this treatment, 

more as a slave than ruler ; till at last, enduring- 
it no longer, he set out as if on pilgrimage to 
Mecca, — a religious obligation which could hardly 
be denied him. But on reaching Kerak, he sent 
a despatch to Beibars and Sallar in which, de- 
claring his intention to remain where he was in 
peace, he desired that all matters of moment should 
he reported to him, but left the administration in 
their hands, and bade the Emirs and memlukes 
be obedient to Sallar as Regent. In reply, the 
Emirs expressed astonishment at what they called 
his childish play, and intimated their resolve that he 
must either return or resign the Sultanate. On this, 
Nasir sent back the insignia of State, and repeated 



BEIBARS II 63 

his desire to end his days at Kerak. But room for a.d. i309. 
compromise had closed ; after a long debate be- 
tween the various factions on receipt of Nasir's first 
despatch, Beibars had already been elected Sultan. 

Beibars II., bought as a slave by Kilawun, 
and raised by him to nobility and office, became now Ai)iii. 
the first Sultan of Circassian birth. He accepted 
office hesitatingly, as he feared oj^position from 
Syria ; and indeed, excepting Damascus, the other 
Governors still held by Nasir, and were only in- 
duced by his express desire to submit to the new 
rule. But Beibars was unfortunate. The Nile 
failing to rise added the usual unpopularity to his 
difficulties. Then hearing of communications made 
by Nasir with Syria, his former friendly attitude 
gave way to suspicion. He demanded restoration 
of the treasure, the memlukes and the stud, which 
Nasir had taken with him to Kerak ; and at last the 
correspondence grew so embittered, that Nasir im- 
prisoned the Sultan's envoy and even threatened 
to seek for refuge with the Mongols. 

For Nasir now saw that the only chance of 
safety lay in claiming the active support of the 
chiefs of Syria, who, as adherents of Kilawun's 
house, were for the most part on his side. At 
the invitation of Kara Sonkor governor of Aleppo, 
Asendimur of Hama, and other Syrian governors, 
he was on his way to Aleppo when a second des- 



64 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1309. patch, urging him to hasten his journey, was inter- 
cepted by the Governor of Damascus, who bribed 
the messenger to carry in its stead a forged letter 
in Kara Sonkor's name, bidding him return to 
Kerak. There he received from Beibars an angry 
despatch, threatening armed attack if he failed to 
give up certain refugees. Nasir sent a humble 
and deprecatory reply, which for the moment dis- 
armed the Sultan's suspicions. Meanwhile he still 
busied himself with preparations for returning to 
Syria, Beibars being kept in ignorance of the design. 

When at last, all being now ready for a rising, 
Nasir set out for Syria, Beibars realising his 
danger, sent an army after him ; but the greater 
part of it went over to Nasir. Beibars himself 
remained inactive at Cairo, seeking for safety in a 
grandiloquent proclamation of his rights by the 
shadowy Caliph. His pompous edict was derided 
by the people ; — " The Caliph ! " they cried, " who is 
he ? He is but lord and master of the winds ! " 
Sallar, too, whom Beibars had long suspected, re- 
mained in his house prepared to welcome Nasir 
back to Cairo. 

Meanwhile Nasir, as he marched from Kerak to 
Syria, was daily met by crowds of returning fol- 
lowers, 60 that he entered Damascus in such festive 
and regal pomp, that unheard-of sums were given 
for roofs to behold the procession from. Akush, 



BEIBARS II 65 

the Governor, fled at his approach ; but, on re- a.d. isio. 
ceiving a rescript of pardon backed by a solemn 
oath, he came and offered Nasir royal gifts of 
horses, camels and treasure. And now from every 
quarter proofs of similar loyalty poured in. 

Beibars, deserted thus by his followers, fled to 
Suez from whence he sent to implore the returning 
Sultan's pardon. This, Nasir still fearing opposi- 
tion at his Capital, not only granted but promised 
him a Syrian command. On hearing this, he 
hurried back to Gaza, but (as we shall see) was 
made prisoner there. So ended Beibars' unfortunate 
reign of little above a year. 



CHAPTER VIII 

nasir's third reign 
1310-1341 A.D. 
A.D. 1310. Now his own master, Nasir was not long in be- 

Mai'cli. 

traying some of the worst features of his race, as 
a jealous, cruel, suspicious and avaricious tyrant. 
Relieved of anxiety now by the friendly attitude 
of his capital, he began to regret the clemency 
promised to Beibars, and had him brouglit up in 
fetters. He then reproached him for the niggardly 
treatment of past years. " Remember," he said, 
" when I once asked for a roasted goose, thou 
madest answer : — ' AVhat will he do with a roasted 
goose ? will he dine twenty times a day ? ' " Though 
Beibars confessing it all, yet pleaded for mercy, 
he was lashed and carried off to the Chamber of 
death. When half suffocated the cord was loosened 
and the Sultan, having again upbraided him, had 
him strangled before his eyes and the body cast 
into a stye. His property was confiscated, and 
his slaves distributed among the Emirs. 



nasir's third reign 6 '7 

Sallar, notwithstanding his support and friend- a.d. 13io. 
ship, fared no better. He had welcomed Nasir with 
every token of festivity and princely gifts. But 
his death was predetermined, though postponed for 
a safer time. Meanwhile, at his own request, he 
was appointed Governor of Shaubek. The summer 
was spent by Nasir in ridding himself, too often 
by cruel death, of Beibars' party whom he feared. 
In the autumn, now safe, he sent a messenger to 
summon Sallar. His followers, apprehending danger, 
urged his flight to Yemen ; but after some hesitance 
he obeyed the call. On reaching Cairo, he was cast 
into prison, and, deprived of food, died within a 
fortnight of starvation there. He is praised as a Sept. 
noble, brave, generous, and upright ruler. His 
wealth was fabulous, treasure, jewels, slaves, and 
stud, gathered as Regent, while barely allowing 
Nasir wherewithal to live ; — a poor excuse, however, 
for such a tragic end.^ 

While painfully suspicious of the influential 



1 Sallar was a Yiirat slave bought by Kilawun. I have not thought 
ht to dwell on the details of his death, Avhich may jwssibly have Ijeen 
exaggerated. Nasir is said to have sent him a tray which the famished 
chief eagerly opened, but found the dishes filled, one with gold, 
another with silver, and a third with j^earls and jewels. He had 
gnawed his palms, his fingers half -bitten still in his mouth, and so forth. 
He left, they say, 800 millions of gold. Allowing for all exaggeration, 
there was here enovigh to tempt Nasir's avarice, and cause his death, 
besides the niggardly treatment during his second reign. Sallar was 
also an accomplice in the assassination of Nasir's brother. 



68 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1310. Emirs around him, and ever ready to coerce them, 
Nasir treated with singular wisdom and forbearance 
the conspiracy of a powerful faction to supplant 
him by a Brother's son. Having summoned the 
culprits to his presence, he pardoned some and 
exiled others, but took no life. It was otherwise 
with Kara Sonkor, to whom he owed so much, and 
whom he now treated with unworthy jealousy. He 
sought to put him off his guard by promotion to 
a government in Syria ; but discovering the trap, 
the Chief made his escape with a body of discon- 

1312. tented Emirs to the Court of Oeljeitu (brother of 
Ghazan), whom they induced to make a raid upon 

1313 Syria. The Sultan marched for its relief, but found 
the enemy had retired, and so instead he went to 

1315. Kerak, and thence on pilgrimage to Mecca. During 
the next year or two, renewed expeditions were 
sent against unfortunate Armenia. Malatia was 
invested ; and, timely capitulation notwithstanding, 
was plundered by the outrageous troops, who carried 
off the Christians as slaves into captivity.^ 

Though Oeljeitu never came to actual hostilities 
with Egypt, yet having zealously adopted the Shiea 

1 Abulfeda was present and sought in vain to prevent tlie troops 
from violence, and to enforce the truce. Alnilfeda was now Governor 
of Hamah, the seat of his forefathers. Asendiniur, his predecessor, 
notwithstanding his recent support of Nasir, had met the same fate as 
Kara Sonkor. Abulfeda tells us he was imprisoned at Kerak, and 
never again appearing must there have met his end. 



NASm's THIRD KEIGN 69 

creed, he sought to spread it westward, and like a.d. 1310. 
his predecessor had designs on Syria and Egypt. 
He sent embassies, as Ghazan had done before, to the 
Pope and European Courts, offering 100,000 horse 
to aid in the recovery of Syria and punishment of 
ungodly Egypt ; l)ut his negotiations met with little 
favour, and he died without effecting anything/ 
His son, Bu Said, returned to the Orthodox faith ; 
and being engaged with the Uzbecs, and anxious also 
to keep secure the Syrian frontier, now felt it his 
best policy to seek the friendship of Egypt. It 
being equally the object of Nasir that his disaffected 
subjects should no longer have a safe retreat at 
the Mongol Court, peace was readily concluded. 
To such an extent, indeed, was the friendship 
carried that by consent the insignia of both 
kingdoms were recognised at the Meccan pilgrimage. 
Another, and but too characteristic, proof of their 
mutual understanding may also be found in the 
assassination of Timurtash, a rebel Mongol who had 



^ Interesting details of these negotiations are given by Remusat, 
Mem. de PAcad. des inscript. vii. pp. 389 et seq. In tlie Paris archives 
is a letter to Philip the Fair, dated May 1305. The embassy to 
England was answered by Edward ii., November 1307, which shows 
the Khan's anxiety to join the Christians in overthrowing the Mame- 
lukes ; and a letter to Pope Clement v. evinces the same desire. 
His diatribes against Egypt led to the notion that he was himself 
inclined to Christianity, which was not the case. After the death 
of Ills Christian mother he became, like his brother, a zealous Moslem, 
but of the Shiea sect. 



70 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.v. 1310. been given asylum at Cairo. In return for his 
head, Bii Said promised that of Kara Sonkor, whose 
death Nasir had long attempted at the assassin's 
hand. On hearing some time after of Kara Sonkor's 
death, the Sultan, his hatred still unquenched, cried 
out : — " Oh, that it had been by mine own sword, 
and not another's ! " ^ Egypt now remained safe 
from Mongol attack till the time of Tamerlane. 

1336. The dissensions which followed the death of Bii 
Said caused Nasir to turn an ambitious eye towards 
Persia. He took the part of Hasan the Greater, 
against Hasan the Less, — son of the Timurtash whom 
he had assassinated, and at the report of whose 
mysterious reappearance he was dreadfully alarmed. 
Eventually he sent a force to support Hasan the 
Greater, on promise of being recognised as supreme 
at Bagdad. His name had accordingly been already 
adopted in the Persian mint and public Prayers, 
when the contending factions came to terms ; and 

1341. so, shortly before his death, the Sultan's grand 
expectations came to nought. His altered relations 
with the Mongols never interfered with his stand- 
ing friendship for their enemy the Uzbec prince, 
whose daughter (after much haggling as to the 

1 Kara Sonkor was now Governor of Meraglia. He died six years 
after, but wlietlier a natural death, or by BA Said to fulfil his 
promise, is uncertain. Nasir is said to have bribed over a hundred 
assassins to destroy him ; for, as we are told, " assassins were the 
arrows of Nasir " {Mem. Arch. Fr. Tome vi. p. 429). 



nasir's third reign 71 

price demanded) lie had some years before (1320 a.d.) a.d. 13io. 
obtained as his bride. 

Armenia was, during this reign, repeatedly 
attacked by Egyptian troops ; and it suffered also 
from the Mongols who, since their conversion to 
Islam, instead of being its defenders, made it now 
the object of hostile inroad. In 1320 a.d., weakened 
by internal division on the succession of the minor 
Leo v., it was attacked by a Syrian army, the city 
j^lundered, the palace fired, and the country raided. 
A year or two after, the Sultan sent an expedition 1322. 
ostensibly to enforce tribute, but chiefly to take 
advantage of any opportunity which the hostilities 
between the Uzbecs and Bu Said might offer for his 
own advancement in the East. Deserted now by 
their former allies, and the subject of chronic 
devastation, the Court of Sis was glad to make 
peace on any terms. Some years later Leo, in 
hopes of assistance from a Crusade projected by 
Philip VI., ^ assumed a too independent attitude ; 
and to punish certain aggressions on the border, 
Nasir sent an army which, advancing into the 
country, destroyed Ayas ; but on the submission 
of Leo it retired, and hostilities ceased for a time. 

In the affairs of Mecca and Medina, Nasir took 
the deepest interest ; and disunion among the con- 
tending Shereefs enabled him the easier to maintain 

1 Upon the death of Pope John xxii., this project came to nothing. 



72 THE BAHKITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1310. his ascendency. At one time, however, Oeljeitu 
gained over the Shereefs to his Shie-ite heresy, and 
had his name substituted for that of the Sultan 
in the public Prayers, but the Bedouins attacked 
his troops. Nasir soon regained his position as 
head of the Holy places ; and in a time of famine 
royally supplied the people of Mecca with corn. 

To the south, repeated expeditions reached as 
far as Suakin, partly against the Bedouins who 
were ravaging, as usual, UjDper Egypt ; partly 
against Nubia, which Nasir attempted to put under 
a Mussulman king. Nubia was thus kept unsettled 
for a time ; but eventually things reverted to their 
previous state. 

1316. In Syria there occurred a wild rising of the 

Druses who, in a great body, plundered Jebelah ; 
and, having slain many of the people, retired with 
the shout, ''There is no God hut Aly/" They 
were put to flight by the Governor of Tripolis ; 
and Nasir sought by most stringent measures to 
suppress their strange tenets, even threatening- 
death for the attempt to spread them.^ 

1308. As in other directions, so also in North Africa, 

Nasir extended his rule westward. For many years, 



^ They held Aly to be "the Creator of the heavens and of the 
earth," and his Successors to be Divine ; they also believed in trans- 
migration of the soul. They explained the Coran allegorically, and 
allowed the use of wine. 



nasir's third reign 73 

his nominee was Governor of Tripoli, and aided by a.d. isos- 

^, . 1320. 

Egypt, held possession even of Tunis for a time ; but 
in the end, he was expelled. In Arabia Felix, the 
Sultan interfered in disputes among '^the local Rulers, 1325. 
hoping thus to secure a voice in the local adminis- 
tration, as well as in the commerce of the East ; 
but his army was ill received, and had to retire 
through the desert not without difficulty and loss. 

Such is a brief outline of the foreign policy of 
Nasir. Though upon the whole successful, he was 
himself no warrior. Excelling not in the field but 
in diplomacy, he was ever ambitious, but not always 
honest and straightforward. Embassies were 
frecjuently exchanged with the Powers around. 
The Emperor, Ibn Taghluk, sent a deputation twice issi. 
from India seeking for co-operation against the 
Mongols. With the Byzantine Court there was a 
common interest in fear of the steady movement 
westward of the Turcoman hordes. By the Pope, 
Nasir was asked to treat his Christian subjects 1327. 
kindly, with the promise that the same should be 
done for Moslems in the West. Similar deputations 1330. 
came from France and elsewhere, which sought even 
the restoration of Jerusalem and the cession of a 
landing-place for pilgrims, a rec^uest which was 
indignantly refused. 

However unenviable was still the position of Chris- 
tians in Cairo, it must be admitted that Nasir himself 



74 THE BAH RITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1310. used his best endeavours to do tliem justice. He 
early tried, but in vain, to allow them the liberty of 
wearing white turbans. Later on, an unfortunate 
incident occurred to stir up the too ready anger of 

1314. the people. The carpets and lamps of a Moslem 
fane having been lent for use at a Christian festival, 
a fanatic and his followers attacked the worshippers 
and destroyed their Church. The Sultan in anger 
threatened to cut out the fanatic's tongue, but in 
the end cooled down and sent him away with a 

1321. solemn warning. Worse times, however, for the 
poor Christians were at hand. A few years passed, 
and the cry was raised against the forbearance shown 
them ; and notwithstanding every effort to quell the 
tumult, some threescore Cliurches were destroyed. 
Then there hajDpened a conflagration in the city ; 
and other fires breaking out here and there roused 
the cry that the Christians were the incendiaries, 
which some under torture confessed to being. 
Nasir, with his Ministers' support, stood bravely up 
for justice; but unable to stem the angry tide, had 
at the last to allow the obnoxious laws stringently 
to be put in force. So sad was now the Christian 
state that none dare venture forth but in the yellow 
Jewish garb. The Vizier, a pervert still suspected 
of Christian tendencies, was attacked by a great 
body of memlukes ; but here again Nasir showed 
his firmness, and brought the rioters to justice. 



NASm's THIRD REIGN 75 

Another proof of Lis impartiality is that shortly a.d. 1323. 
after, a fanatical Soofie at Damascus seeing a 
Moslem kiss the hand of a christian Secretary as he 
passed, in indignation cut the Secretary to pieces.^ 
The Sultan, unmoved by the heated'cries in favour 
of the fanatic, had him hung up at the city gate. 
With similar firmness the leaders of a dangerous 1327. 
outbreak at Alexandria were treated.^ And again at 
Damascus, when another christian Secretary, having, 1340. 
under the rack confessed to a conflagration, was 
with his friends put to death and a heavy tax laid 
on the community, the Governor was by the Sultan 
severely called to order. 

Three Viziers of Christian descent were neverthe- 
less put to death under this reign, partly in punish- 
ment for cruel administration, partly (we are told) 
for the vast treasures amassed by them. One is 
such a tale of horrors that, if but half of what is told 
be true, it casts a lurid light on the barbarity of the 
day. Nashju, himself a pervert raised to the highest 1340. 
oflices of State, resorted to such inhumanities of the 
rack and lash as to arouse the anger of the people.^ 

1 An incidental proof that the regulations against employment of 
Christians fell constantly into disuse. 

2 The cause is singular. An envoy from Constantinople listened 
with a crowd around to a story-teller but, when the rest joined in at 
the benediction of the Prophet's name, he was silent ; — at which the 
people rose in tumult upon all the Christians in the place. 

3 He would wrap his victim's hand in cloth steeped in boiling 
rosin. The mother of his predecessor was stripped, seated in boiling 



76 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1340. Nasir long refused to credit his guilt ; and, as usual, 
there was treachery and swearing on both sides to 
produce evidence true or false. At last he was 
arrested ; and a golden cross, wine, and swine's flesh 
(secret signs of Christianity) found in his house roused 
the indignation of the crowds to such a pitch that 
all night long, with flags and torches, they shouted 
around the Citadel. The Sultan was in the end forced 
to condemn Nashju ; and not only he, but his mother 
and brothers with him, were put to death. Buried in 
the Jewish cemetery, his grave had to be long watched 
lest the body should be taken up and burned. 

Nasir's treatment of the Christians around him 
was no doubt partly due to their ofticial competency 
and to his belief that they were loyal, but more 
perhaps to their being beyond his jealousy. In 
regard to his Emirs, and indeed to all around, so 
long as there was nothing to arouse his suspicion or 
his avarice, Nasir may be praised. But otherwise 
he could show himself a treacherous and bloodthirsty 
tyrant. We are told of no less than a hundred 
and fifty instances of death by poison, starving or 
assassination. The case of Tengiz must here sufiice. 
Bought as a slave by his predecessors, he served 
Nasir faithfully eight-and-twenty years as Governor 
of Damascus, when in the last year of his Sovereign's 

oil and so tortured that she miscarried, and so forth. The details of 
this miserable case occu2)y six pages of Weil. 



nasir's third reign 77 

life, he fell. The tale is strange and dark almost a.p. 1340. 
beyond belief. Besides his bravery in battle with 
the Mongols, he had endangered his life in the 
negotiations which (it will be remembered) enabled 
Nasir, when in peril at Kerak, to gain over the 
Syrian Emirs ; and in return was rewarded with the 
Viceroyalty of Syria. There, practically independent, 
he was often summoned as a counsellor to Cairo. 
Nasir took Tengiz' daughter as his Queen and, at 1339. 
an expected birth, invited Tengiz to come with his 
family to the Capital. As he approached, the Sultan 
went out in State to meet him, and with high fes- 
tivity led him up into the Palace, where his reception 
with royal gifts and entertainments exceeds descrip- 
tion. The Sultan's daughters were bade to call him 
" Uncle " and to kiss his hand, while two of them 
were affianced to his Sons. After enjoying for a time 
such untold favour and distinction, Tengiz departed, 
and added as to the Sultan he said goodbye, — " I 
have but one wish left, and it is to die before thee ! " 
" Forbid it ! " exclaimed Nasir, ''for who then would 
support my widows, and who sustain my Son with 
honour on the throne ? " A year had hardly passed 
before this fond affection turned into jealousy and 
hate. The reasons alleged would seem altogether 
beside the mark ; — displeasure, namely, at the severe 
treatment of the Christians accused of incendiarism, 
and devotion of the fine imposed on them to the re- 



78 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1340. storation of the great Mosque, instead of being sent to 
him. Nasir is also said to have been annoyed at Tengiz 
desiring to put off the bridal festivities till a season 
of less distress. At last the Sultan desired him to 
brino; his Sons to Cairo and have the marriage there. 
But by this time treachery had poisoned Nasir's ear, 
and Tengiz perceived that his time too had come. 
Suspicious now of his Viceroy, and fearing that he 
mieht rebel, the Sultan sent a force to seize him at 
Damascus, and was so overjoyed when he heard that 
his victim was being brought along in fetters that 
he had the good news proclaimed. Carried thus to 
Cairo, and interrogated by the Counsellors of State, 
the wretched captive was able to give so good an 
account of himself, and so well rebut the accusations 
made against him, that they begged he might be 
allowed to end his days in peace. But, deaf to their 
entreaty, Nasir despatched the miserable object of his 
jealousy to Alexandria, where lie was beaten and 
tortured to disclose his supposed confederates and 

1340. his hidden treasure. He was then put to death, and 
with him fell several Emirs who shared his confidence 
and his friendship. The property of Tengiz and those 
condemned with him was so vast, that Nasir could 
afford to bear with equanimity the reproaches which 
some even dared to offer at Tengiz' cruel fate.^ 

^ Weil tells the story at inordinate lengtli, — eleven pages ; but it is 
very illustrative both of Nasir and his times. 



nasir's third reign 79 

And so it was with rich and powerful Emirs a.d. 1340 
throughout the reisjn. He suffered them to gather 
wealth, and in due time, on some charge or 
suspicion, took their lives and seized their riches. 
He would veil his designs sometimes for years, till 
the occasion came and then woe to the wretched 
victim. But while with the rich or with such as 
excited jealousy, he was a wayward, capricious and 
cruel tyrant, towards the rest of the world he is 
praised as a wise, just and able ruler. Obnoxious 
taxes swept away ; Emirs' appanages, eating into the 
revenue, cut down ; field measurements and assess- 
ment revised ; departmental expenditure reviewed ; — 
such were among the wise measures of the day. 
During a severe famine, grain was imported from 
Syria ; the rich also were forbidden to sell their 
hoards above a certain price ; a measure which, 
however opposed to economic principles, had yet the 
result of making food more available to the peoj^le 
at large. 

The public works of Nasir, constructed at immense 
expense, and some with such forced labour as risked 
life itself among the multitudes driven to the task, 
contributed to the prosperity of the country, the 
fruitfulness of the land, the beauty of the Capital, and 
convenience of the people. The important canal from 
Fuah to Alexandria, on which a hundred thousand 
toiled, not only opened up to the country maritime 



80 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1340. traffic direct from the sea, but rendered a barren waste 
both arable and populous ; while villas and gardens 
beautified its banks. Roads also at safe level 
throughout the land, and especially a dam along the 
right bank of the Nile, afforded at once means of 
communication and protection from the swelling 
flood. Then, both within and without the Citadel, 
mansions were built for the Sultan's wives and 
concubines, slave-girls and children ; especially the 
far-famed Casr Ahlac, or White Castle, after a model 
at Damascus, for which architects and masons were 
summoned from Syria, aud its completion celebrated 
by royal festivities. No fewer than thirty Mosques, 
besides fountains, baths, and schools, were founded 
by him ; while portions of the great Mosque and other 
buildino-s in the Citadel still bear the Sultan's name.^ 
Beautiful remains also, in stone, in marble and in 
brass, with delicate tracery and inscriptions, ex- 
quisitely ornamented stands and lustres," with other 
rarities, still remain to attest the progress at this 
time of artistic taste and execution borrowed how- 
ever mainly from surrounding lands, and have left 
the name of Ndsir Mohammed ihn Kelaivun as 
perhaps the best known of bygone rulers in the 
Capital. Nor was his care confined to Cairo, for in 
the chief cities of Syria, and at Mecca, measures 

' Materials from the ruined Cathedral of Akka adorn this Mosque. 
- See examples at end of volume. 



nasir's third reign 81 

were taken to promote embellishment and public a. d. 1340. 
works. It may be added, as showing the extent to 
which private as well as public money was now 
lavished on architecture, that the Sultan's two chief 
Ministers (of whom we hear more hereafter) vied 
with each other in the grandeur of their edifices, the 
remains of which have carried down their names 
also to the present day.^ 

All this must have weighted the burdens by 
which the people were ground down to poverty. 
But not only so ; there was added to it the extra- 
vagance of a sumptuous Court, which might have 
been held quite fabulous unless attested by con- 
temporary writers. On pilgrimage, the Sultan's 
table was supplied throughout the Arabian desert 
with a garden, as it were, of flowers and fruits. 
The journey of one of his Queens to Mecca cost 

1 The Frencli Mission Archwologique gives us much that is interest- 
ing on these ancient remains, and on the architecture in the Citadel 
bearing Nasir's name. Very beautiful illustrations of the edifices, 
carving, and inscriptions may be seen in Tome vi. 14th Fascicule, such as 
the Mosque, Dewan, gate of the Citadel, etc., all bearing the Sultan's 
name. At p. 86, Tome xix. are three inscriptions from the Citadel wall, 
as entered by Saladin's gate, in glorification of Nasir. In Tome iii. 
pp. 60 and 101, there are other interesting notices, among which one of 
the " Emerald Gate," the mansion of the Sultan's daughter married to 
Kausun. It is remarkable that there are still remains of the Beisan 
Palace purchased by that Emir, as well as of the Hill palace, Casr 
BeshtaJc, bearing his rival's name. These are the two ministers noticed 
above. {Troisieme Fasciml. pp. 466, 467.) See also beautiful illustra- 
tions in the Catalogue Miosee National de I'Art Arabe, par Max Henry 

Le Caire. 
6 



82 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D, 1340. 100,000 golden pieces ; and the bridal outgoings 
for each of his Daughters 800,000. The mar- 
riage of a Son was celebrated with regal splendour. 
The palace was lighted by three thousand tapers ; 
the nobles passed before, with their memlukes, 
each holding a flambeau in his hand. When this 
had lasted well into the night, the ladies of the 
Emirs assembled in the great Hall, and bowed as they 
passed each holding her wedding gift ; and then 
(contrary to all Eastern propriety) forming into 
rows, danced with tabret and song before him. A 
devoted lover of horses, and of all kinds of animals, 
he spent large sums upon them, and on hawks for 
the chase ; and indeed he lavished money on what- 
ever to his taste approved itself^ 

But in the midst of all this state, Nasir himself 
was plain and unadorned. With no personal pre- 
tensions, short in stature, S230t-eyed, and lame in one 
foot so that he must lean on a staff' or attendant 
as he walked, he yet dispensed with every kind of 
adornment either in dress or equipage, while both he 
lavished on his trusted memlukes. The position of 
the memluke became thus more than ever attrac- 
tive ; and so, tempted by the vast sums off'ered by 

1 He gave 30,000 golden pieces for a horse lie fancied ; 10,000 was 
an ordinary price, and so witli otlier animals. Macrizy tells us that 
18,000 loaves of sugar were provided for his Son's marriage-feast, and 
20,000 beasts slain. Such are samples of the boundless extravagance 
attributed to him. 



NASIRS THIRD REIGN 83 

the Sultan's agents and the glowing accounts that a,d. 1340. 
thus reached to Turkestan, multitudes sold their sons 
and daughters to be carried to the Egyptian Court, 
and themselves crowded to the land of promise. 

To provide for such a Court there was needed an 
extravagant expenditure ; and, as we have seen, in 
raisino; it little reo-ard for what was rio-ht,-^ and some- 
times even for life itself, was shown. But along with 
all this, when not misled by covetous or vindictive 
feelings, wisdom and justice guided the Sultan's reign. 
He had himself studied law and theology at Damascus, 
and obtained a diploma there ; and so now whenever 
the Jurists interfered, he held his hand. Great offence 
was given to the Cazie ^ of Damascus by the appoint- 
ment there of a christian Copt as private secretary ; 
Nasir was angry at first, but in the end gave the 
ofHce to the Cazie's son. He disliked the Hanefite 
Cazie because of his hostility to the Christians, and 
being thwarted by a decision ^ of his, deposed him 

^ I read in Ihn Ayas, who gives a very sad account of the morals 
of the ladies of the day, that a heavy tax was allowed by the Sultan 
to be laid upon all women of liigh rank and their daughters indulging 
in unchastity, and that a female official was appointed to administer 
it. This is one of the very few notices the historian gives of the state 
of female society. 

2 Cazie, a judge, so pronounced in Central Asia ; but in Western 
lands, Cadie or Kadi. 

^ The Sultan allowed one of his favourites to take part of the lands 
of an endowment, giving an equivalent in other lands ; an exchange the 
Cazie declared to be against the law, and refused when threatened to 
alter his decision, which greatly displeased the Sultan. 



84 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1340. for a time. The Shafie-ite Cazie lie was partial to, 
but because of the shameless life of his son, was 
obliged to send him and his family away to 
Damascus. The Caliph, on account of his open 
support of Beibars, was kept with his family in one of 
the Citadel towers, and latterly (1337 a. d.), suspected 
of disloyalty, was banished to Upper Egypt. The 
people are said to have been sorry for him ; but the 
Caliph could hardly have been much missed at Cairo. 
The Sultan's appreciation of learning is shown by 
his treatment of the historian Abulfeda, and his 
restoration to the government of Hamah, originally 
conferred on the family by their ancestor Saladin's 
brother. Given the title of Sultan, he was invested 
with the trappings and emblems of royalty, and 
rode as a prince through the streets of his city. 
The highest titles were assigned to him by Nasir, 
who even addressed him as " brother," — a singular 
instance of the Sultan's trust and favour towards 
a powerful Kuler continued to the end. 

For Nasir was jealous even of his own Sons, so 
that till the eve of his death he nominated none as 
his Successor. Ahmed, the eldest, a wretched speci- 
men of slavery to the lowest forms of vice, was 
banished to Kerak as his father failed to sever him 
from the company of a memluke youth. Anuk, 
another son, clung similarly to a singing girl. 

In 1341 A.D. Nasir was seized with an illness. 




MINARET OVER MOSQUE OF ^ASIU IBN KILAWUN. 



nasir's third reign 85 

which gradually increased till he used to fall off into a.d. 1341. 
swoons. These he sought to conceal, but still 
alarming reports created serious disturbances in 
the city. The two leading ministers, Beshtak and 
Kausun, both married to daughters of the Sultan, 
but at deadly feud against each other, sought to 
take advantage of the emergency ; and this state 
of things, prolonged from day to day, hurried on 
so dangerous a crisis that the dying monarch at 
last summoned a Council, and in their presence June, 
invested his son, Abu Bekr, with the sword of State. 
A day or two after, with pious and repentant sighs, 
he died at the age of fifty-eight, having been forty- 
eight years Sultan ; but of these, his own master, 
only thirty-two. 

A great Prince, whose tyranny and oft-repeated 
deeds of cruelty cast into the shade his virtues, 
Nasir died with a name more feared than loved. 
Buried without pomp in his father's mausoleum, 
none even of his own family were present. And so 
a biographer says of him, — " Lord of many lands, he 
died as one forlorn, was washed and laid out as an 
outcast, and buried as a homeless one." A life of 
strange vicissitude, of much that is to be well spoken 
of, but of more that is to be condemned, and pas- 
sions of anger and jealousy in the last degree to be 
denounced ; — the biography of Nasir ibn Kelawun is 
one well worthy of careful thought and study. 



CHAPTER IX 

nasir's sons and grandsons 

1341-1382 A.D. 

A.i). 1341. For the next forty years the Sultanate was held by 
the house of Nasir ; in the first score by eight of his 
sons successively, and in the second by his grandsons ; 
— from first to last a miserable tale. They rose and 
fell at the will of the Mameluke leaders of the day, 
some mere children ; the younger, indeed, the better, 
for so soon as the puppet Prince began to show a 
will of his own he was summarily deposed, or he was 
made away with, few of such as reached maturity 
dying a natural death. The Emirs rose and fell ; 
each had his short day of power ; then deposed and 
plundered, exiled or strangled, others succeeded but 
to share their fate. There were short intervals of 
able rule ; but for the most part, murders, torture, 
execution, crime, and rebellion were throughout the 
period rife. The tale is sad and unattractive, and 
will be disposed of as briefly as the history admits 
of 



nasir's sons and grandsons 87 

Nasir, as we have seen, on liis deathbed nomi- a.d. 1341. 

June. 

nated not his eldest son, but Abu Bekr, twenty 
years of age, to be his Successor. This youth had 
already at Kerak shown himself cruel and over- 
bearing; ; and his first act as Sultan was that of a 
savage tyrant. For some slight that had been 
shown him, he had his father's Chancellor nailed 
down on a camel's back and paraded through the 
streets, while his children were brought out and 
slain before his eyes.^ Beshtak was by his jealous 
rival Kausun seized and carried off to Alexandria, 
where by the Sultan's command he was put to death, 
and his vast possessions seized. At last, misguided 
by the youths with whom he spent his nights in 
dissipation, Abu Bekr fell foul of Kausun, and 
sought to lay hands upon him. But timely warned, 
Kausun gained over the great body of the Emirs, and 
sending the young tyrant, with his grown-up brothers, 
to be confined at Coss in Upper Egypt, so closed a 
reio;n of but two or three months' duration. 

Kausun, now supreme, raised Kujuk, another son Aug^ist. 
of Nasir, six years of age, to the throne ; and the 
Caliph, approving Abu Bekr's deposition for his evil 
life, confirmed the choice. The new reign opened 
with the usual overthrow of all in power. One of 

1 Besides the slight, the Chancellor had detained and ill-treated one 
of Abu Bekr's servants who had fled to him. This is all that is 
alleged for such incredible bloodthirstiness. 



88 THE BAHEITE DYNASTY 

A.T.. 1341. tlie late Sultan's favourites, bound on a camel, and 
followed by crowds with torches, breathed his last 
upon it. Kausun now lived in dread of Ahmed, the 
eldest son of Nasir, still at Kerak, and sought to entrap 
him by promise of the crown if he would come to 
Cairo. But Ahmed, upon the alert, stayed on at 
Kerak. Kotlubogha an Emir sent with troops against 
him, w^as gained over by Ahmed ; and through him 
most of the Emirs in Syria also to the same side. 
The two parties tried conclusions there, and Ahmed's 
gained the ascendency. Kausun in difficulties would 
now have gladly recalled Abu Bekr from Coss to the 
throne ; but he had already by his secret command 
been there put to death. Deserted by his followers, 
he was seized and sent to Alexandria, where he met 
the same fate as Beshtak.^ 

1342. The child Kujuk, after a reign of five months, was 

Jan. 

upon this deposed, and a deputation sent by the lead- 
ing Emirs to Ahmed, now twenty-four years of age, and 
living still a life of shameless self-indulgence at Kerak, 
inviting him to come to Cairo and ascend the throne.^ 

1 Kausun was unpopular among the Emirs because lie was not a 
proper memluke, not having Leen bought as a slave ; for he had come 
to Nasir of his own accord in the Mongol princess' suite, and thus had 
voluntarily made himself over to the Sultan. He had not the social 
elevation of a inirchased slave ! 

2 Among the Emirs here mentioned was the second hv;shand of 
Ahmed's mother. As a slave-girl she used to sing to the Emirs, for 
she had a beautiful voice ; Nasir, taking a fancy to her, married her ; 
divorced by him, she married this Emir. 



nasir's sons and grandsons 89 

But he had no wish to go ; indeed but for Kausun's a. d. 1342. 
hostility he never would have thought of the throne ; 
and so to the deputation he replied that he would 
stay where he was till the Syrian Emirs had joined 
him, meanwhile desiring that the oath of allegiance 
might be taken at Cairo. His Brothers, now returned 
from Coss, joined tlie rest in urging him to return ; 
and so after long delay he at last started with a Marcii. 
few followers, and entering the Capital at night 
in a Bedouin's garb, retired to a Brother's house. 
He did not for days show himself either in Mosque 
or Palace or any public place, and by this strange 
conduct gave much offence. At last he was installed ; 
but abandoning himself still to his Kerak volup- 
tuaries, he left the rule to Tushtumur, Kotlubogha 
and other Emirs, who committed unheard-of atrocities 
against their opponents.^ 

Tushtumur, gaining the ascendency, sent away April. 
his colleagues to commands in Syria, and so ruled 
supreme. But Ahmed becoming jealous, shortly 
after assumed the reins himself, cast Tushtumur 
into prison, and caused Kotlubogha, Governor of 
Damascus, to be arrested there. But even now, 
with a free hand and none to control him, the 

^ It Avas by them that Kausun, Altunhogha, etc., were now 
murdered in prison. At Abu Bekr's mother's desire, the Governor 
of Coss, for having at Kausun's command put her son to death, was 
paraded about the streets for days, and still surviving was after a 
week strangled. 



90 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.p. 1342. dissipated tyrant's love for Kerak still prevailed. 
Leaving Aksonker a leading Emir as Kegent, dressed 
again as a Bedouin, and mounted on a dromedary 
with but a couple of attendants, lie rode off to 
Kerak, where lie retired into privacy and was seen 
by none but his familiars. Cairo left to itself, fell 
into confusion and disorder. A letter signed by 
the chief Emirs demanded his return as needful for 
Egyptian rule ; to which he replied that he had 
Syria as well as Egypt to govern, and would remain 
where he w^as so long as he pleased. Tushtumur 
and Kotlubogha were carried in chains to Kerak and 
beheaded there. Their families were sent away to 
Damascus, robbed even of their clothing, and in so 
sad a plight that the Syrian Emirs, roused to indig- 
nation, forwarded a despatch to Cairo demanding the 
appointment of another Sultan. On its receipt the 
leaders, their patience now exhausted, deposed the still 
absent Ahmed, who thus after a dissipated and cruel 
reign of half a year, was succeeded by another Brother. 

June. This was Ismail, who, though but seventeen years 

of age, was exemplary and mild in his administra- 
tion ; the only member of his house indeed in whom 
cruelty, avarice, and treachery were not the leading 
features. He re-entered the deserted Palace, and 
commenced his administrations hopefully ; but he 

Dec. was not allowed a peaceful reign. One of his Brothers 
rebelled, and lost his life in the struggle. But 



nasir's sons and grandsons 91 

Ismail's chief anxiety arose from the intrigues kept a.d. 1342. 
up by the deposed Ahmed, which led to the siege of 
Kerak. That strong fortress held out for a year, 
when at last it fell. Ahmed was put to death, and 
his head despatched to Cairo. At the sight of it, the 1344. 
young Sultan trembled violently, and became deadly 
pale. From that moment he lost his sleep, and died 
within a year. He was devoted to his harem, and had 
lost his heart to a black slave-girl whose lute charmed 
and soothed his later days, and that is all we are told 
of his domestic life. Much influenced by his attend- 
ants and Harem, Ismail's weak administration tempted 
misrule around ; but apart from the siege of Kerak, 
little of moment occurred during these three years, 
beyond risings amongst the Bedouins, and unim- 
portant fighting on the Syrian border. The finances 
became so low that the young Sultan had to give up 
an intended pilgrimage to Mecca, where Yemen again 
began to seek supremacy. Yet so great was still the 
Mameluke prestige abroad, that another Embassy, 
laden with rich gifts, arrived from India, to obtain 
the Sultan's recognition of Ibn Toghluk's succession, 
as well as his confirmation by the Caliph who, though 
thus revered abroad, was made at home but little 
mention of 

Two other Brothers succeeded, Shaban and then 1345. 

August. 

Hajy, slain each at the end of a year ; a time 01 de- 
bauchery, murder and misrule, worse if possible even 



92 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1345. than anything that had gone before. Shaban assassi- 
nated two of his Brothers, one of whom (Kujiik, 
former Sultan) was strangled in his bed. His vices 
and cruelty became at last so unbearable, that discon- 
tent spread from Egypt to Damascus. Alarmed at the 
report of this, he became afraid of his two remaining 
Brothers, and was on the point of treating them as 
he had done the others, when the inmates of his 
harem interposed and saved their lives. Disorder 
throughout the kingdom caused so great a fall in the 
revenue, that the annual Pilgrimage had to be given 
up ; and yet the luxury of the Court and splendour 
of the ladies' wardrobe exceeded anything ever seen 
before. At last the Emirs of Syria (all of them 

1346. Mamelukes of vast influence in Cairo) rose against 
Shaban and demanded his abdication. Attacked in 
his palace and deserted by his followers, he fled to 
his harem where he was pursued and put to death. 
The reign of his brother Hajy, an abandoned youth 
of fifteen chosen to succeed, was even worse. Emirs 
all around were put to death, both at the Capital and 
Alexandria. The Regent, a Circassian by birth, 
desirous of promoting those of his own blood at the 
expense of the Turkish faction, excited the jealousy of 
the latter. These accused him to Hajy, who put 
him oft' his guard by the oft'er of Gaza, and then 
treacherously slew him. The young Sultan spent 
fabulous sums upon his slave-girls, especially on one 



nasir's sons and grandsons 93 

wlio had been the favourite mistress successively of a. d. 1347. 
the two Sultans before him.^ At a time when people 
were starving from a prevailing dearth, he aban- 
doned himself to the frivolities and dissipations of 
his mistresses, singers, musicians, jugglers and 
others, on whom he squandered great sums of 
money. Having on one occasion divided amongst 
his favourites the whole treasure of a condemned 
Emir, two of his trusted memlukes warned him of 
the dark clouds gathering around. In his scorn, he 
was on the point of destroying them ; but they, 
effecting their escape, roused the Emirs all ready for 
revolt. Assembled in hostile array, these demanded 
Hajy's resignation. He rode out against them, but 
deserted and unhorsed, was put to death, pleading in 
vain for mercy. 

The Circassian memlukes would now have elected 1347. 
Hosein, but the Emirs preferred Hasan, a younger 
brother of twelve, as an easier tool to work with. 
Then followed the usual outrages against the favour- 
ites of the late Sultan. The gay courtiers and slave- 
girls were plundered of their last dirhem to supply 

^ Fabulous gifts were lavished on this slave-girl, oue consisting of 
l^earls costing 400,000 silver pieces. She had a turban which the 
three Sultans, one after the other, had adorned with pearls worth 
100,000 golden pieces. Two of his friends who persuaded him to put 
away this girl, as well as two others to whom he was devoted, were the 
following year with others invited to a feast, and there for their good 
advice, assassiriated. 



Dec. 



94 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1347. tlie empty treasury. For example, Hajy's clown, 
a wretched hunchback, was beaten and tortured 
for his money, till in agony he expired. The Cir- 
cassian memlukes, too, who had favoured Hosein, 
were pursued and distributed among the Turkish 
Emirs. The present reign was quieter than the 
last, but that was mainly due to the appalling 
visitation — the Black Death — which, in its deadly 
march from the far East to the Mediterranean laid 

1348,1349. its millions in the dust.^ The mortality was no- 
where greater than in Syria, and for the time 
nothing else was thought of. Apart from the 

^ Macrizy tells us a great deal about this terrible pestilence. 
Appearing in Cliina some seven years before, it spread through Tartary 
to Constantinople, and thence over Europe and Syria ; while according 
to other accounts, it reached Syria from India through Persia and 
Mesopotamia. From Syria where few towns escaped, it jjassed on to 
Egypt, but lost its virulence as it went south. At Caixo, from 
November to January, 1000 to 1500 died daily, and once as many as 
20,000 ; the dead were carried on rafters, 30 to 40 being cast into a 
single grave. In Aleppo 500 died daily, and in Gaza 22,000 in one 
month. In Egypt the jilague attacked with boils, both cattle and fish, 
the watercourses being full of dead fish. Even the vegetable world was 
smitten and dates became uneatable from worms. At Cairo the illness 
began with women and children, and then passed on to men. The roads 
were strewed with corpses which they feared to remove, for the very 
touch brought on fatal boils. The Capital became empty, for the 
Sultan and all who could fled. The total mortality here reached 
900,000. Property passed often tlirough seven or eight hands, and you 
might see labourers moimted on officers' horses. The land was waste, 
there being none to till it. Corn was cheap enough, but meal almost 
unprocurable, there being few hands left to grind it. The virulence 
of the disease gradually diminished in the spring of 1349 a.d., and 
shortly after it altogether ceased. 



NASIRS SONS AND GRANDSONS 95 

recurring atrocities of the Bedouins, and a deadly a.d. 1349. 
quarrel in which the Governor of Damascus was 
slain by the Emir of Tripoli, there is little for the 
first three years to record. Then the Regent being 
absent on pilgrimage, Hasan himself assumed the 
reins. Though outrages during this period are not 
wanting, they were of a less marked character 
than usual, and a victory at Mecca over the Yemen 1350. 
troops, and at Sinjar over the Turcomans, gave some 
eclat to the young Sultan's sceptre. But his Ministers 
still interfering, he plotted their arrest ; and this com- 
ing to their knowledge, he was attacked, deposed and 
interned in a private dwelling-house, after a reign 
of four years, of which only in the last was he 
possessed of any real power. 

Another young son of Nasir, Salih by name, 1351. 

All ". 

fourteen years of age, whose Mother was daughter of 
the fated Tengiz, was now placed peacefully on the 
throne. He reigned three years, which, apart from 
Mameluke plots and cruelties, was an uneventful 
time. In the continual rise and fall of Emirs at 
Cairo, their occasional rebellion in Syria, their flight, 
pursuit and, it may be, death, there is little that 
would interest the reader. The Vizier, a Christian 
pervert, who had amassed an enormous fortune, was 
accused by a rival of being still a Christian. Not 
only the wretched man, but his family and depend- 
ants also, were horribly tortured, till property worth 



96 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1351. two million golden pieces was disgorged, after which 
he was banished to Coss. The Christian community 
suffered much at this period. Envied for their honest 
gains, they were stripped of all, their Churches 
demolished, and the former cruel regulations asrain 
stringently enforced. This, with the destruction of 
Bedouin hordes which as usual infested Egypt, is 
all that the youthful Salih's reign is remarkable for. 
At last, he was tempted himself to assume the 
power ; but falling into a dissipated life, he plotted 
to seize the Courtiers who were in his way. These 
anticipating danger, sounded the trumpet of rebellion, 
put the Sultan under arrest, and reappointed Hasan 
in his stead. 

1354. Hasan had spent his season of seclusion and 

restraint, but with little profit, in study and de- 
votion. His second reign lasted six years. Becom- 
insf a miserable debauchee, he allowed his Emirs to 
rule, — a succession of tyrants who practised in- 
conceivable atrocities.^ His Sultanate is bare of 
incident, excepting a defeat at Mecca, and a fresh 

1 Shicku, tlie Chief of tlie day, liad a deposed rival paraded 
through the city. After that (so we are told) his head was shaved and 
bored in various places : into the punctures venomous insects were in- 
serted ; then a burning brass plate was applied, which caused the 
creatures to bore deeper in till the poor man died. Shicku paid the 
penalty of his inhumanities, being cut down in Court. And yet he is 
praised as an exemj)lary Believer, having not only endowed a theo- 
logical school with reciters of the Coran, but laboured with his own 
hands at the pious work of building the cloister. 



Get 




MOSQUE AND TOMB OF SDLTAN HASAN, SON OF NASIR. 
(OTNARET TO LEFT, PART OF ORIGINAL BUILDING.) 



nasir's sons and grandsons 97 

invasion of Armenia where Tarsus, Aclana and a.d. 1354. 
Massissah were seized and garrisoned by Moslem 
troops. At last lie was attacked by his leading 
Emir, Yelbogha, to whom he had given offence ; and 
having been cast into prison, was never seen again. 

Two grandsons of Nasir now succeeded to the I36i. 

March. 

Sultanate. First Mohammed son of Hajy, a youth of 
fourteen, who after a couple of years was deposed as 
wanting, and kept in confinement. Shaban followed, 1363. 
a child of ten years, preferred as such to his father 
Hosein, who himself never reached the throne. He 
reigned (if one might use the word) fourteen years, 
longer in fact than any other of the family. In the 
constant downfall of leading Emirs, and sad end of 
the Sultan himself, the tale differs little from that 
which has gone before. The early years were 
uneventful, the later stormy both at home and 
abroad. Yelbogha (Al Jahjawy) was at first the 
dominant Emir ; but his atrocities so transcended 
even the barbarous precedents of the age ^ as to ime. 
arouse the hatred of the people, who rallied to the 
support of the young Sultan when Yelbogha rebelled 
and would have raised another Brother to the throne. 
The tyrant was defeated, and his head exposed upon 
a burning torch. His memlukes, however, remained 
dominant and in their wild excesses had the city at 

^ His savage cruelty was sucli that many liad their tongues cut out 
simply because they had offended him. 

7 



98 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1367. their mercy. At last they too attempted to dethrone 
the Sultan ; but the troops and citizens, who could 
no longer bear their riot and outrage, put them to 
flight. The leaders were all drowned, beheaded or 
banished. Among the latter was Berkuck who, 
after some years' imprisonment, escaped to Damascus, 
where we shall hear more of him hereafter. Things 
now went on pretty much as before, the only re- 
markable incident being that, on the death of the 
Sultan's mother, the ruling Emir who had married 

1373. her and claimed her estate, rose in rebellion, was 
worsted, fled, and falling with his horse into the 
Nile, was drowned. 

Some events of external interest may here be 

1364. briefly noticed. The Governor of Bagdad having 
rebelled against the Ilkhan Oweis, sought the aid 
of Egypt, proclaimed the Sultan as his Sovereign, 
and coined money in his name. His deputation was 
returned with rich gifts, and with the escutcheons 
both of the Sultan and the Caliph. The Ilkhan sent 
an Embassy in complaint to Cairo which was ill 
received. But the ambitious designs of Egypt 
came to nought, for the rebel Governor was beaten, 
and Bagdad restored to the Eastern Empire. 

1365. AVhile Yelbogha was yet in power, Cyprus with 
the Venetians and the Knights of Rhodes schemed a 
Crusade against Egypt. Landing at Alexandria. 



nasir's sons and grandsons 99 

tliey plundered tlie city for three days and, before a. d. 1360. 
troops could arrive from Cairo, had sailed away with 
5000 prisoners. Yelbogha vented his anger against 
the Christians by exacting from them large sums to 
fit out a fleet and ransom the captives. A friendly 
Embassy of Franks offering reparation, and asking i368. 
that the Church of the Resurrection might be re- 
opened, was detained at Cairo by Yelbogha, while 
he busied himself with preparations for hostilities.^ 
Getting no reply, the Cyprus fleet raided ^the Syrian 
coast, and again attacked Alexandria, but was 
repulsed with loss. Hostilities continued thus 
throughout the year ; but peace was at last re- 
stored, and the Church reopened to the pilgrims. 

Armenia not having been included in this treaty, i369. 
the forces of Egypt and Syria were now brought to 
bear on that unfortunate land. In 1369 it was 
overrun by the Governor of Aleppo, who captured 
Sis, but again retired. A few years after, Cilicia 1374. 
was anew attacked, when King Leo vi. retired to a 
hill fortress, but was taken prisoner and carried oft" 
to Egypt.^ Sis was now placed under a Mameluke 1375. 

^ This Embassy demanded hostages before leaving Alexandria ; and 
it illustrates Mameluke duplicity tliat Yelbogha sent, ostensiljly as 
hostages, a company of condemned criminals, gaily dressed out ; and to 
deceive the Franks the better, had them followed by women and 
children as if their families. 

2 He remained in captivity till 1382 a.d., when at the instance of 
.John I. of Castile he regained liberty ; but forbidden to return to 
Armenia, wandered about Euro^je till he died at Paris 1393 a.d. 



100 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 1375. Emir ; and poor Armenia, destined for ages to be 

the cruel sport of Mameluke and Osmanly despotism, 

1378- ceased to be a Cliristian State. Some years later (it 

1381. . .... . 

was during the following reign) the Syrian Chiefs 
made repeated raids on the Turcoman house of 
Dilghadir in Asia Minor, but were driven back so 
disastrously that Aleppo was even placed in jeopardy. 
This marks a new epoch in the relations between 
Egypt and the Turcomans of the North. Hitherto, 
as Macrizy remarks, the Turks of Asia Minor had 
been a wall of defence to the Egyptian frontier. 
Henceforth they became hostile to Mameluke rule, 
and eventually the cause of Egypt's downfall. 
1366. Early in Shaban's reign an important ex^Dedition 

by land and sea was sent south as far as Suakin, for 
the protection of Upper Egypt and the Nubian 
border from the alarming; outrao-es of the Bedouins.^ 
It was successful, but the barbarous cruelty of the 
Governor of Assouan so enraged the surroundino- 
tribes that they rose upon the Egyptians and, 
having slaughtered them, left the city in flames. 

1376. We are now drawing near the close of Nasir's 

line. It was not only rebellion and misrule which 



(Vahram's Chronicles of Armenia, l)y C F. Neuman ; Oriental Fund, 
London, 1831.) 

^ The details of the ascent of the Nile, and passing of the cataracts, 
remind one of the Gordon campaign in oiir own day. 



nasir's sons and grandsons 101 

at this time affected the land, for sore famine and a.d. 1376. 
pestilence again prevailed. Tushtumur, the Prime 
Minister, was stricken by the plague ; and on 
recovery 23iously planned a pilgrimage to Mecca. 
The Sultan and Caliph both accompanied him, and 
they set out with vast pomp, and a great multitude 
of memlukes. On reaching Ayla these demanded 
money and rose upon the Sultan, who in alarm 
escaped by night to Cairo. Meanwhile, apparently 
in concert, a similar plot was taking place at Cairo ; 
for the memlukes had also risen there, and giving 
out that the Sultan was dead, attacked and slew his 
favourite Emirs and proclaimed his son Aly in his 
stead. The Sultan on reaching Cairo had fled to the 
house of a sinsfins^-o-irl, where discovered in female 
attire, he was tortured for his treasure, and at last 
strangled by a memluke whom he had raised to the 
Emirate. The people lamented his death for, though 
weak and avaricious, Shaban was mild and gentle 
compared with those who had gone before him. 

Aly, but six years of age, thus set up by the 1377. 

March. 

Cairo rebels, was inaugurated on the spot by a Caliph 
extemporised for the purpose, and entered on his 
reign ; — a troubled period of six years. Shortly after, 
the other party with Tushtumur at their head, made 
their appearance from Ayla, and sought to place the 
Caliph, who returned with them, on the throne. They 
fought and after repeated encounters were defeated. 



102 THE BAHRITE DYNASTY 

A.D. 137S. when Tuslitumur was sent away as Governor to 
Damascus. The memluke party which thus had 
gained the ascendency now stormed for money, and 
at the point of the sword secured 500 golden pieces a 
head by robbery of the Orphan chest. The events 
that follow are but a kaleidoscope of the rise and fcill 
of ruling Mamelukes, of riot, treachery, extortions, 
exile and bloodshed.^ At last, Berkuck and Berekh 
(who had been banished on the fall of Yelbogha 

1379. Jahjawy), gaining the countenance of the Syrian 
Chiefs, became supreme at Cairo. But outrage still 
continued, and the Citadel itself was the scene of 

1380. riot. Berkuck plotted to seize Berekh ; but he 
escaped, and followed by his Turkish adherents 
gave battle to Berkuck and his Circassian band. 
Berkuck was beaten and sent a prisoner to Alex- 
andria, where he was put to death." 

^ A characteristic story may be mentioned here, namely, an attempt 
to i^lace on the throne the .son of a cliA'orced wife of Nasir, -vvho de- 
cLared that she was enceinte by him when she joined her second 
husband. The Caliph declared the lady's conduct a scandalous breach 
of Moslem law. It is rare that we find the Caliph thus interfering ; 
but he was here in entire accordance with Moslem law. 

2 Apparently by Berkuck's command ; but he denied it, and laid 
his death at the door of the Governor of Alexandria, Bu Khalil, a 
learned writer, whom he made over to Berekh 's memlukes. The.se 
after parading him on a camel cut him in pieces. 

This parading on a camel, so often mentioned now, is explained by 
Macrizy to have been a horrid sj^ectacle. The A'ictim was first stretched 
upon a board, on which he M'as fixed by iron nails through the arms and 
feet. The whole was then fastened on a camel's back and the victint 
paraded through the city ; — a sad picture of the barbarism of the age. 



nasir's sons and grandsons 103 

lu the following year the young Sultan died, a.d. i38i. 
when his brother Hajy, aged six, succeeded. But 
memluke risings again broke out ; and an attempt 
was made on Berkuck's life. Accordingly, towards 
the end of 1382 a.d., Berkuck, in a Council of Emirs i382. 

Nov. 

and Sheikhs and in presence of the Caliph, announced 
that both for peace at home and prosperity abroad, 
the Sultan must be a man and not a child. The 
assembly agreed, saluted him as their Ruler, and so 
the little Sultan was led back again into the Harem. 
Thus ended the house of Kilawun ; and with it 
the Bahinte or Turkish dynasty came to a close, 
having lasted for 122 years. The Sultanate passed 
henceforth into the hands of the Burjite or Circassian 
race, which held it, as we shall see, for 135 years, 
that is till the close of the Mameluke rule. 



PAET SECOND 



THE BURJITE OR CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

1382-1517 A.D. 



CHAPTER X 

BERKUCK AL ZAHIR 

1382-1399 A.D. 

It is a relief to pass from iq^start Emirs, creatures a.d. i382. 
of the day, ruling in tlie name of boyish Sultans, 
to a line of Sovereigns ruling in their own name and 
by their own right ; although the change may not 
have always brought much benefit to Egypt. Such 
was Berkuck. He was bought by Yelbogha (Al 
Jahjawy) twenty years before from a Chersonese 
slave-dealer; and was banished, as we have seen, 
on his Master's murder. Returning, he fell into 1367. 
the ranks of Shaban's memlukes, and joined the 
outbreak that dethroned him. In the turmoil which 1376. 

105 



106 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1382. followed, he rose rapidly to be a ruling Emir, and 
having crushed his rival Berekli, became supreme. 
The slave of yesterday was immediately recognised 

Nov. as Sultan by the Emirs of Egypt and by the Gover- 
nors throughout Syria, many of whom (a suggestive 
lesson) had held distinguished commands while 
Berkuck was but a menial memluke, and in the com- 
mon ranks. After three days' retirement (a practice 
followed now on each succession) Berkuck issued 
from the Palace in great pomp, and having been 
duly done homage to by the Caliph, the Judges and 
other High officials, distributed the usual gifts and 
announced the preferments of office. In the follow- 

1383. ing year a plot was detected to murder him and 

Aug. 

raise the Caliph, Mutawakkil, to the throne. Sum- 
moned to the Sultan's presence, the conspirators, 
on threat of torture, confessed ; on which Berkuck 
was so enraged that he rushed at the Caliph with 
his sword ; but, held back, sentenced him to death. 
The Jurists approved ; but, the Cazies dift'ered, on 
the ground that a Caliph had the power to seat 
and unseat Monarchs (a strange deliverance at this 
time of day) ; and so Berkuck contented himself 
wdtli setting up another Caliph in his stead, and 
condemning one of the conspirators to death. A 
'reign of terror now^ began to alienate the leading 
1386. Emirs. The Chamberlain, for example, on mere 
suspicion of a design to restore one of Nasir's 



BERKUCK 107 

descendants to the throne, was nailed down with a.d. 1386. 
two of his memlukes all three upon a single camel, 
paraded, and then put to death. Many were fet- 
tered, tortured or banished for no sufficient cause. 
The same barbarous rule extended to Syria, where 
Governors from being suspected and accused, were 1389. 
turned into rebels ; till at last the whole province, 
with hardly an exception, rose against the Sultan, 
whose treacherous designs to decoy his victims to 
Cairo and there destroy them, hastened his fall. 
A rebel force under Yelbogha (Al Nasiry) of Aleppo, 
and Mintash of Malatia, attacked Damascus ; and 
having beaten the Sultan's troops, took possession 
of the city. They then advanced on Cairo, where 
the utmost confusion prevailed. Berkuck's behaviour 
was feeble and cowardly in the extreme ; he wept 
like a child ; fawned upon the Caliph Mutawakkil, 
whom he had so lately threatened to slay, and 
never ventured beyond the Citadel. At the last 
moment, he sent a submissive message to Yelbogha, 
who spared his life and sent him prisoner to 
Kerak. Cairo was for days abandoned to riot 
and plunder ; till at last, Yelbogha, resisting the 
cry of the Emirs that he himself should be Sultan, 
restored Hajy, the child deposed by Berkuck, as the june. 
best entitled to the throne. 

Yelbogha, as Hajy's Atabeg or Major-domo, 
assumed supreme authority, and Mintash now felt 



108 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.I). 1389. himself powerless. He sought in vain that Berkuck 
should be put to death, which Yelbogha, holding 
him to be a sort of counterpoise to Mintash, 
firmly refused. But he imprisoned Berkuck's fol- 
lowers, and dispersed the whole body of Circassian 
memlukes. In the end, Mintash, unable longer 
to bear the supereession, raised the standard of 
rebellion, and gathered all the disafiected, includ- 
. ing even Berkuck's Circassian followers, to his side. 
Yelbogha now delayed too long. He sent the Caliph 
to reason with Mintash, who complained that Yel- 
bogha had broken faith with him, and lorded it over 
the young Sultan. Fighting went on for several 
days, and Yelbogha, beaten at last, was sent a prisoner 
to Alexandria. Mintash, now the Atabeg, indulged 
his power in plundering and imprisoning all around. 
Even Berkuck's Circassians, to whom he owed so 
much, became with others the subject of horrible 
cruelties ; — the hands of many being cut off, and the 
people threatened with death for carrying any weapons 
about with them. The Governor of Damascus, a 
follower of Yelbogha's, was by a treacherous letter 
put off his guard, seized and put to death ; by all 
which excesses Mintash did himself more harm 

1389. than good. Troops were at last sent to Kerak to 

Sept. 

put Berkuck to death ; but favoured by the in- 
habitants, he escaped to Syria, and there found 
himself rallied round by increasing numbers. Min- 



BERKUCK 109 

task alarmed, began with the Caliph's help to preach a.i.. 1389. 
a Holy war against the apostate Sultan, and soon 
gathered a strong force with which he marched to 
Syria. The two came to a pitched battle near Gaza ; 
Berkuck's troops were there put to flight by Min- 
tash, who pursued them towards Damascus, and 
the day seemed lost. By a lucky chance, Berkuck 
with a small following came upon the royal tent, 
where was lodged the young Sultan with the Caliph. 
He took possession of it and, treating the inmates 
kindly, was rapidly joined by troops from all direc- 
tions. Mintash returned too late from his victorious 
pursuit, and the battle raged again next day, but 
without result. A storm having forced Mintash 
back upon Damascus, Berkuck promptly took the 
opportunity, instead of continuing the battle, to turn 
his face towards Egypt, and with an ever-increasino- 
force advanced towards Cairo. The young Hajy, 
still a youth, whom he carried kindly with him, 
now resigned in his favour, and proclamation was 
made in camp that Berkuck was again Sultan. Mean- 1390. 
while Cairo had been in sad tumult, fear, and uproar. 
But so soon as it was known that Berkuck was 
approaching, the city turned out in grand festivity, 
and welcomed him back with rejoicing to his Palace. 
Hajy, who rode in the procession by his side, was 
provided with a residence in the Citadel, and there 
for many years he lived in good repute. 



110 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1390. Keseated thus, by marvellous good fortune, upon 

Jan. 

liis throne, Berkuck sought by every possible means 
to ingratiate himself with his subjects. He scattered 
benefits all around, even amongst former enemies; but 
it was more from motives of expediency than natural 
kindness and goodwill, for he was still uncertain as 
to the attitude of Syria. Things, however, did not 
so well with Mintash there. Losins; Damascus, 
most of his forces went over to the Sultan ; but he 
soon gathered another army, to which Turcomans and 
Bedouins, besides memlukes of the Kilawun house, 
readily flocked. Thus equipped, he again took the 
field asfainst Yelbos>;ha who commanded the Sultan's 
Syrian army. A bloody but indecisive engage- 
ment was fought at Salamieh ; and so hostilities 
went on till Berkuck, doubtful of Yelbogha's faith, 
resolved himself to take the field. Before leaving 
Cairo, his memluke ferocity betrayed itself in the 
inhuman torture of all he had suspicions of, 
especially the friends of Mintash, many of whom 
were put to a cruel death. ^ 

^ Some curious details are given of sumptuary regulations en- 
forced against the ladies by Kemisboglia, the Governor now left at 
Cairo. They were forbidden to visit cemeteries, or join parties on 
the Nile. Their dress had become of such extravagant dimensions 
as to require for sleeves and skirts, 72 ells of cloth 3|^ broad. 
Running in the opposite direction, Kemisbogha reduced the stuff to 
24 ells. The Sultan on his return cancelled the order. Macrizy 
tells us that in his time, he saw some ladies in short and narrow 
dresses which thev called " Kemisbogha skirts." 



BERKUCK 111 

At Damascus Berkuck was well received, for he a.d. 1391. 
published there, as suitable for the moment, ai/"'^" 
amnesty to all however implicated ; and then marched 
northward to Aleppo. Mintash meanwhile had gone 
over to the Bedouins; and so dissatisfied was the 
Sultan with Yelbogha's pursuit of him that, on 
returning to Aleppo, he was seized and, with many 
of his favourite Emirs, put to death. Such was the 
ingratitude shown by the Sultan to the Chief who 
had in time of peril befriended him. At Damascus 
too, the proclamation notwithstanding, and also on his Dec. 
return to Cairo, many Emirs of whom Berkuck was 
jealous, especially all Yelbogha's friends, were pur- 
sued, exposed on camels and put to death. Min- 
tash prolonged his border hostilities two years 
more, when the Bedouin chieftain, his ally, bribed 
by the Sultan, betrayed him to emissaries who 
carried him to Aleppo. There to revenge his isps. 
treason, he was tortured with fire and the rack 
till in agony he expired. His head, after being 
paraded throughout Syria, was hung up at the gate 
of Cairo, and then given his poor widow to bury. 

In the following year, a learned Shereef, descended 1394. 
from Aly, was accused of having plotted with the 
Arabs to restore Syria and Egypt to the Prophet's 
family. Along with a friend to whom he had 
promised office under the new rule, he was put to 
the rack to reveal their supporters. They confessed 



112 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1B94. to being alone responsible ; and, bravely adding that 
they had but done their duty according to the Coran 
and Sunnat, expired under excruciating tortures. 
The marvel is that the like attempt was so seldom 
thought of by the Semitic race to restore the country 
to its native rulers, and stay the barbarous inroad of 
Turkish slaves who kept still overflowing the land, 
and subjugating the people to rightful outrage and 
oppression. 

1398. We are told little more of Berkuck's life : but 

towards its close a dangerous conspiracy illustrates 
the uncertain temper of the Emirs, and the risks that 
ever beset the Sultan's throne. A slave of the 
Treasurer, Ali Bey, was caught intriguing with a 
slave-girl of the Chamberlain, wlio punished the 
offender with four hundred lashes. Aly Bey com- 
plained to the Sultan, who failed to call the Chamber- 
lain to account for this assumption of authority. The 
complainant took the slight so much to heart, that he 
sousfht his revensje in an attack on Berkuck's life. 
For this end he concealed a body of memlukes 
within his house ready to fall on the Sultan as he 
returned from the yearly opening of the City canal. 
But forewarned, before passing the house, Berkuck 
left his retinue behind and, trotting ahead, passed to 
the Citadel unrecognised. Aly Bey followed, but 
only to find the entrance closed. He was seized, and 
after torture to discover his accomplices, strangled. 



BEEKUCK 113 

His friends, though there was no evidence against a.d. 1398. 
them, were pursued, and many of them, after the 
fearful camel-parade, beheaded. Berkuck imprisoned 
even his own Son-in-law because he had been a 
friend of Aly Bey. Lost in the discovery that so 
slight a cause could give rise to so great a danger, 
Berkuck now regretted his neglect of the Queen's 
warning not to lean too exclusively on his Circassian 
memlukes, but rather seek support from a surround- 
ing of Turks and Greek slaves as well. The perilous 
position at last opened to his eyes affected him so 
keenly that he did not dare again to quit the 
Citadel. l. 

In the later years of Berkuck's reign the East again 
threatened disaster to the Sultanate. After carrying 
all before him in Central Asia, Timur^ turned his 
arms westward, and drove Ahmed ibn Oweis out of 
Bagdad ; then marching north he spread devastation 
over Asia Minor -to the shores of the Caspian Sea. 
Called away by a Mongol insurrection, he returned 
again triumphant to Persia, inflicting terrible calami- 
ties on his road, of which pyramids of heads in 
Hamadan were a standing witness. A second time 
he invaded Asia Minor, penetrating as far as Lake 
Van, and there crushed the Osmanly Bajazet, Chief ] 393. 

^ Or Timurlane, born 1336 A.D., descended from a Minister of tlie 
Court of Jengiz Khan. 



114 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1393. of the Black Weir horde. Now ready to direct the 
storm against the Egyptian empire, Timur was 
diverted from the project by another rebelUon in 
the East, and so for the moment Syria escaped. 

Although Berkuck suffered little from Timur 
excepting on the Armenian border, yet communica- 
tions of a serious nature passed between the two 
monarchs. Shortly after the capture of Bagdad, the 
Mongol tyrant sent an envoy to Cairo reminding 
the Sultan of the bygone hostilities which ended in 
the peace of Bu Said; Persia, having since then 
fallen to pieces, had now passed under the great 
Conqueror's sceptre ; — " Let there henceforth then 
be peace between us, and friendly intercourse." 
Berkuck returned no reply ; but afraid of the mes- 
senger as a spy had him put to death. At the same 
time, he received with royal honours Timur's 
adversary Ahmed ibn Oweis just escaped from 
Bagdad, loaded him with princely gifts, and took 
his niece in marriage. But he was still alarmed, and 
while engaged in measures for the safety of Syria 
against possible attack, he received a second despatch 
from Timur, very similar in style to that of Holagu 
to Nasir, very long and abounding in quotations 
from the Coran. The great Conqueror " sent by 
Heaven to execute vengeance on tyrants of the 
earth," denounced the wicked murderer of his envoy ; 
while, in his reply, the Sultan scornfully defied him 



BERKUCK 115 

as an " angel of the Evil one destined for hell-fire," a.d. 1394. 

Mav. 

and so forth. At last in the middle of the following 
year, Berkuck with a strong force started for Syria ; 
and, assisting Ahmed again to resume possession 
of Bagdad, passed on from Damascus to Aleppo. 
There he rested for some months ; but finding 
that Timur had departed north, returned again to Nov. 
Cairo. In his later days, Berkuck was so shaken, 
as we have seen, by the attack of Aly Bey, that he 
took little concern about foreign matters, and before 
Timur again came west, he had already passed 
away. 

In the autumn of 1398 a.d., Berkuck was seized 1399. 

June. 

with dysentery which hung upon him, and in the end 
proved fatal. Just before his death in the middle 
of the following year, he nominated Faraj, his son by 
a Greek mother, with his two chief Emirs, Tagri 
Berdy ^ and Itmish as Counsellors, to succeed him. 
He died, aged sixty, surrounded by several sons and 
daughters, and having reigned, whether as Sultan or 
Emir, one-and-twenty years. Extravagant in his 
tastes, though yet leaving vast treasures behind, 
he had supplied himself with some five thousand 
slaves, a magnificent stud, and all the surround- 
ings of a grand Oriental Court. While praised as 
an able, wise and benevolent ruler so long as un- 

^ Tagri Berdy was father of Abiil Mahasin the historian. 



116 THP: CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.I). i39!>. influenced by passion or revenge, and as the founder 
of many public improvements and institutions, he 
is equally denounced as ruthless and bloodthirsty 
whenever occasion roused his jealousy.^ 

He lived in fear not only of Timur, but also of 
the OsMANLY dynasty a new, and in the end a fate- 
ful, enemy to the Egyptian Sultanate. So much 
depending on this Dynasty in what remains of 
this story, I propose very briefly to trace its rise, 
and to mark the position which it occupied at the 
period under review. To this the following chapter 
will accordingly be devoted. 

1 The tomb lie built for himself still exists outside Cairo. A 
bridge over the Jordan is mentioned as one of his many public works. 



CHAPTER XI 



THE OSMANLY DYNASTY 



The birthplace of the Osmauhes lay far away east i^tii and 

ISthCen- 

in Central Asia beyond the Oxus, from whence tmies. 
Turcomans and Seljukes, first tempted by the 
Abbaside CalijDhs, had been long pouring down 
upon the West. In their wake, from time to time, 
there followed hordes of similar race, to aid their 
arms and share the spoil. One of these, the Ogus 
tribe, followed the Seljukes in the thirteenth century, 
and for their services received lands in Asia Minor, 
where they settled down round about Angora. From i2S8. 
thence, towards the end of tlie twelfth century, their 
Chief, Ertogral, pushed his way onward to the shores 
of the Bosphorus. He was succeeded by his son 
Osman ^ who enlarged and consolidated the Osmanly 
rule ; and, on the fall of the Seljukes, became inde- 
pendent Sultan of the western half of Asia Minor. 
His son Orchan fixed his headquarters at Brousa in 
dangerous proximity to the Byzantine capital. The 

^ Properly Othman, the th being liere pronounced as a sibilant. 

117 



118 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

13th and east of Asia Minor still belonged in part to Persia, 

14th Cen- . 

turies. and m part to Turcoman chiefs, such as those of 
the Black and White Weir hordes. There were also 
throughout the Peninsula a number of small Chief- 
ships, remnants of the Seljuk empire, but now being 
gradually incorporated in the Osmanly Sultanate. 
Notwithstanding Orchan's marriage with the Keisar's 
daughter, hostile relations broke out between the 

1354. two, and in the middle of the fourteenth century 
the Sultan crossed the Bosphorus, seized Gallipoli 

1359. and advanced into European territory. His suc- 
cessor Murad still moving forward made Philip- 

1389. popolis his western capital. Though he was slain 
in fighting with the Keisar, the Osmanly sovereignty 
remained firmly established over an extensive range 
of country on the opposite shores. Bajazet succeed^ 
ing, followed with vigour and devotion a like course ; 
and, the Keisar being now subordinate, pushed his 

1396. arms to the borders of Hungary, where he gained 
the victory of Nicopolis. Eeturning east, he engaged 
his troops in putting down the opposition which 
had grown up during his absence in Europe, and 
enlarojino; his dominions which now extended from 
the Bosphorus and Csesarea as far east and north 
as Siwas and Tokat. 

Had Berkuck joined this conquering Prince and 
aided him with the Egyptian and Syrian arms, they 
might have set Timur at defiance, and saved the 



THE OSMANLY DYNASTY 119 

territories of both from impending disaster.^ But a.d. 1396. 
Berkuck feared Bajazet, dreading the Osmanly raids 
upon his border, and kept aloof; and so Timur 
was able to take them each separately in hand. 
Apart from their martial instincts, causes were not 
wanting to precipitate hostilities between Bajazet 
and Timur. Each was forward to give the rebellious 
dependants of the other friendly w^elcome and help. 
Ahmed ibn Oweis, for example, driven out of 
Bagdad found shelter with the Osmanlies ; and so 
with the chief of Erzengan and others. This un- 
friendly attitude roused Timur to address Bajazet 
in the vainglorious style of Asiatic conquerors. 
"The pigeon might as well fight with the vulture, 
or an ant defy the tread of an elephant, as Bajazet 
stand before the Conqueror of the world," and so 
forth ; ^ to which Bajazet answered in the same 
defiant style. But while Timur fell upon the 
Peninsula and destroyed Siwas and its surroundings i40o. 
with horrid butchery, the Osmanly loitered beyond 
the Bosphorus at the siege of Constantinople. The 
trial of arms, however, was not yet. For Timur, 
instead of moving westward, turned his march 
unexpectedly south, and (as we shall see below) 
spent his fury upon Syria and Damascus. Return- 

1 Timur used to say that Bajazet was an able leader, but of poor 
soldiers ; while Egypt and Syria had good troops, but badly led. 

2 (iibbon gives us some of this despatch in his sixty-fifth chapter. 



120 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1402. ing east by Aleppo, he again laid Bagdad a ruined 
heap, and then passed the winter at Tebriz. It was 

Spring, now that Timur, displeased with Bajazet's treatment 
of his vassal of Erzengan, concentrated his hordes 
from Georgia and Persia upon Asia Minor. For 
some reasons he even now desired peace ; and 
negotiations were the result. His overtures were 
indignantly rejected by Bajazet, who challenged his 

Slimmer, adversary to battle. They met near Angora, when 
owing to defection of his troops, Bajazet was 
defeated, taken prisoner, and (as the story goes) 
carried about by Timur in an iron cage.^ For the 
time his successor, Mohammed i., was able to retain 
only the northern part of Asia Minor, the remainder 
being restored by Timur to its various petty Chief- 
tains. Thus weakened, the Osmauly dynasty ceased 
for the moment to give anxiety to Egypt. But it 
was not long in recovering the whole territory from 
the Black to the Mediterranean Sea, and of assuming 
that hostile attitude which in the end proved fatal 
to the Mameluke Sultanate. 

With this brief introduction the relations of 
Timur towards Egypt and Syria will now be 
resumed. 

^ Weil makes some sensible remarks about this iron cage, and 
comes pretty much to the same conclusion as Gibbon (vol. v. p. 96). 
Timur is said to have treated Bajazet well till he attempted to escape, 
and tlien made him follow the army in what was jirobably a litter, or 
sedan chair, surrounded with iron rods like a cage, for security. 



CHAPTER XII 

FARAJ 

1399-1412 A.D. 
We return to Cairo. Faeaj, son of Berkuck, was a.d. 1399. 

June. 

but thirteen years of age wlien he began to reign, 
a wretched time of strife in Egypt and of anarchy in 
Syria. At the first, there was alarm at the descent 
of Bajazet on Malatia and other places on the border ; 
but before an army could be sent he had retired. 
Damascus and other Syrian cities having cast off 
their allegiance on the ground that the Sultan was 
a minor, the youth summoned his Law officers and, 
by their decision, assumed majority. But this made Oct. 
matters no better. Intrigues grew dangerous ; the 
Citadel was closed against the Regent and Tagri 
Berdy ; and they after an open fight fled to 
Damascus which, with the rest of Syria, was con- 
vulsed by rebellion and torn by misrule. At last 
the young Sultan marched with a powerful army, 1401. 

Sluing. 

beat the rebels, and in a way restored peace. The 

Chief of Damascus, as leader of the rebellion, after 

long torture for his treasure, was strangled. Four- 

121 



122 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.I.. 1401. ancl-twenty of the disloyal Governors were beheaded, 
and others pardoned. Tagri Berdy was among the 
latter, the Sultan's mother making intercession for 
him as one of Greek descent. 

AutuBiu. It was now that Timur, after his first invasion 

of Asia Minor (as related in the previous chapter), 
turned his arms southward upon Syria, whicli on the 
first alarm cried out for help from Egypt. But at 
the moment all that could be done was to tell the 
Governors themselves to do the best for their own 
defence. Timur demanded of them the release of 
his vassal Itilmish chief of Van, and recognition of 
himself as Supreme. The demand was answered by 
the murder of his messengers. On this, Timur came 
down like a whirlwind upon Syria and defeated the 
Emirs assembled at Aleppo for its defence. They 
fled part away to Damascus, and part into the city, 
which for three days was the scene of murder and 
outrage. Thence from town to town, the Conqueror 
passed on carrying destruction in his van. Cairo 
was now in terror. The tale of Timur's vengeance, 
and the rapine of his hordes, rapidly filled the ranks 

Dec. of the army with which the Sultan reached Damascus 

just in time to anticipate the approach of Timur. 
Several encounters followed in which the Egyptians, 
with Bedouin and Arab help, had the advantage. 
The two armies remained entrenched for a while 
beside Damascus, when Timur, anxious it was 



FARA J 123 

thought, to avoid the Syrian winter, entered into a.d. 1401. 
friendly communications with the Sultan, who 
promised to surrender Itilmish and acknowledge 
the Khan's supremacy. Satisfied, apparently, the 
Mongol army began to move away, when the Egyp- 
tians fell upon their rear, but were driven back. On 
this, Timur returned and pitched his camp by the city. 
Just then a party of the Emirs conspiring against the 
government, went off in secret to suj)plant Faraj and 
seize the unprotected Citadel. The Sultan hastened 
in pursuit of them, thus leaving Syria to its fate. 

The Egyptian army now gradually gave way ; 
the citadel after a month's siege was captured, and 
the city given over by Timur to flame and plunder. 
Damascus as the ancient seat of the Omeyyad 
Caliphate was hateful to the Shiea zealot ; but what 
provoked him to more than Mongol vengeance, was 
a letter from the Sultan saying that his departure 

was due to another cause than fear of him, and^^ 

threatening to return and, like a roused lion, destroy 
his victim. The wretched city after weeks of con- 
flagration and rapine was left a heap of ruins. 
Timur then departed and carried with him great 
numbers of the learned citizens, artists, architects, 
and workmen, to Samarcand. Ketiring by Aleppo 
and plundering as he went, he vented his fury on July. 
Bagdad, which had again fallen under Ahmed. 
Leaving it covered with "towers of the dead," he 



124 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.i). 1401. made his second attack on Asia Minor in which (as 
we have seen) he took Bajazet prisoner. Towards 
the close of the following year he despatched an 

1402. embassy to Cairo demanding, under threat of return, 
the submission of Egypt and release of Itilmish. 
The Sultan, then in trouble at home, not only set 
the prisoner free, but sent an offering of rich gifts, 
which was acknowledged by the present of an 
elephant, precious stones and costly robes. Timur 
also asked that Ahmed and Kara Yusuf of the Black 
Weir, now prisoners in Syria, might be put to death. 
This Faraj readily agreed to ; but Syria was at that 
moment so much out of hand that the Emir of 

1405. Damascus set them free instead ; and Timur shortly 
after dying, the matter went no further. 

1401. We carry the reader back to the time when Faraj, 

leaving Timur before Damascus, hastened his return 
to Cairo. The conspiracy came to nothing, and every 
eflbrt was now made to enlist another force aa^ainst 
the Mongol army; but meanwhile it had disappeared, 
and nothing more in that direction was required. 
During the next few years, the Capital was the scene 
of dire disorder, one party of Emirs rising against 
another, and the Citadel being over and again 
besieged. Syria too, since Timur's departure, had be- 

1405. come all but independent. Endeavouring; to recover 

May. ... 

his authority there, Faraj had to retreat before the 
rebels. These pursuing him, attacked the Capital, 



FARAJ 125 

but quarrelling as usual amongst themselves, tliey a.d. i4or>, 
were driven back, and a measure of peace restored. 

A new danger now threatened Faraj. The Sept. 
Circassian memlukes angry at the punishment of 
certain of their Emirs, and at the favour shown to 
the Greeks and especially to Tagri Berdy, conspired 
against him. While Faraj was disporting himself 
with his slaves in his bath, one of them in their 
gambols kept him so long under water that, but for 
the help of a Greek memluke, he had been drowned. 
Suspecting a Circassian conspiracy, he disappeared 
by night and hid himself in the house of a friend, 
who gave out that he had been made away with. 
The Circassians upon this raised his brother Abdul 
Aziz to the throne, and made common cause with 
the Syrian Emirs. But they pressed their hostility 
too far ; and the other party, learning that Faraj was 
still alive, attacked them. While the fighting raged 
at the grand entrance of the Citadel, Faraj reappear- 
ing entered it with his party by another gate, 
and taking his enemies in the rear, gained an easy 
victory. Thus after an interregnum of two or three 
months Faraj resumed his place ; and Abdul Aziz, 
with another brother imprisoned at Alexandria, 
was put to death by poison there. 

Faraj, now come of age, reigned nearly seven nor.. 

Dec. 

years more — a wretched tale of conflict with Emirs 
at home, and revolted Governors abroad. To regain 



126 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1406. authority in Syria, lie led armed expeditions thither 
every year. But even when his adversaries were 
defeated, the Sultan was weak enough to be ever 
restoring them to command again, so that imperial 
authority tied entirely from his hands. At one 
time, the Emir Jakam, victorious throughout the 
greater part of Syria, assumed the title of Sultan 
with royal honours ; but in battle with Kara Yelek 
of the White Weir, who had encroached upon the 
Syrian border, this ambitious leader lost his life. 
Syria now fell under the rule of other Emirs, whose 
rise and fall and various conflicts it would be profit- 
less to follow. One of these named Sheikh entered 
Egypt, attacked Cairo and besieged the Citadel, but 
fled on the approach of troops ; and yet after a 

1411. year's fighting and rebellion this rebel was not only 
pardoned, but given the government of Tripoli. 

Towards the close of his life, Faraj fell into 
intemperate and abandoned ways ; and in fits of 
anger would slay, even with his own hand, suspected 
Emirs and slaves around him. A wife whom he had 
divorced was sent for by him ; and when she came, 
he rushed at her, cut ofi" her head, and killed her 
husband.^ In a tour through lower Egypt, his 



^ He is said to have slain " by the dozen." His biographers 
apologise for him that he did so only after much forbearance, but 
what a state of society does not this imply ! 

When the poor divorced wife appeared at his call, he pursued her 



FAEAJ 127 

tyranny and exactions were so severe as to rouse a May. 
conflict in Alexandria ; just then a dangerous rising 
in Syria awakened him from his mad career. For 
two Emirs, whom he had pardoned, Sheikh and 
Newroz, now rebelled and assumed an independent 
attitude. Faraj at once started on his seventh 
Syrian campaign. His troops began to desert him 
by the way ; but the foolhardy Prince, against the 
advice of Tagri Berdy, pushed forward his reduced 
and wearied army by forced march to Balbec. Here 
a battle took place. Defeated and wounded, Faraj 
fled to Damascus, where his friend Timurtash (Tagri 
Berdy having just died) besought him, while yet 
there was time, to hurry back to Cairo, or even to 
seek help at Aleppo from the Turcomans around. 
He refused ; and Sheikh approaching in triumph, had 
him now completely at his mercy. Having taken 
refuge in the Citadel, Timurtash advised Faraj 
to escape in the dark with him ; but he delayed 
so long that his friend had to fly without him. 
Nothing now remained but to surrender. This he 
did on the sacred promise that his life should be 
safe ; and so he was at the first received with 

as she fled wouiicled and screaming, and at last belieaded her. Wrapping 
the body in a sheet, he summoned the husband, and asked whether 
he recognised it ; then rushing at the terrified man, he beheaded him 
also, and had both bodies buried together. A terrible tale, for by- 
re-marriage they had done nothing wrong either in law or usage, after 
the Sultan had divorced her as his wife. 



128 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1411. honour. But having been by common consent, for 
his evil and tyrannical life, deposed, he was eventu- 
ally cast into a cell, and by night stabbed to death 

23rd May. by One of the Assassin race. The body stript was 
cast into a dunghill, and after two or three days 
secretly buried by a citizen at night. 

It had been a miserable reign. The devastations 
of Timur, incessant rebellion in Cairo, Syria con- 
vulsed by never-ending conflict of Emirs with their 
Sultan and with one another, — all this with pestilence 
and famine to boot, reduced the population (we are 
told) to one-third of what it had been, and rendered 
life itself a burden. Repeated attacks of the Franks 
on Alexandria and the Syrian coast, are hardly to be 
mentioned amid the confusion of the day.^ AVorst 
of all in the Believer's eyes, as if to show his con- 
tempt of the Moslem law, Faraj had his image struck 
on the coin of the realm ; and to him, amid the long- 
race of Egyptian tyrants, may be awarded the un- 
happy pre-eminence, of a weak, ungodly and cruel 



1 In 1403 A.D. the Franks ravaged Alexandria, and in 1404 a.d. 
Tripoli. Shortly after, troops from a fleet of forty Cyprian ships 
landed at Beyrut, set fire to the city, and ravaged the country as far 
as Sidon and Tripoli. 



CHAPTER XIII 



THE CALIPH — SHEIKH AL MUEYYAD 



1412-1421 A.D. 

At Damascus, Sheikh called a Council which (Farai a.d. 1412. 

^ -^ May. 

being still in the Citadel) nominated Abbas, the 
Caliph, who was with the army, to the Sultanate. 
It was much against the Caliph's will, as he knew 
that none but a Turk could rule, and that it was 
but a momentary measure of expediency ; he made 
it therefore a condition that even if ousted from 
the Sultanate, he should still retain the Caliphate. 
The announcement that the Caliph had been elevated 
to the throne was received with shouts of rejoicing 
throughout Damascus. It was indeed a singular 
fortune which thus crowned (though it were but in 
name) the long-neglected Head of Islam ; and pious 
Moslems, anticipating in their simplicity its con- 
tinuance, exulted at the rejuvenescence of the 
sovereign Caliphate of bygone days. 

They were soon undeceived, for on return to 
Cairo, the Sultan Caliph was treated as a mere 



130 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1412. appendage of the State, confined in fact within the 
Citadel. Sheikh and Newroz together held the reins ; 
but soon the crafty Sheikh induced his fellow to 
assume the command of Syria, and thus secured 
for himself unfettered rule at home. A Bedouin 
outburst was shortly after taken advantage of by his 
friends to demand that, for the welfare of the State, 
Sheikh should have the Sovereign name as well as 
power. Abbas was accordingly deposed, not only 
from the throne, but from the Caliphate ; and sent, 
with the sons of Faraj, a prisoner to Alexandria, 
where, eventually released by Sheikh's successor, he 
lived in privacy. 

Nov. Sheikh was now proclaimed Sultan, with the title 

Al Mueyyad. Purchased from a Circassian dealer at 
3000 pieces by Berkuck, he was rapidly promoted 
from the courtly page, to be leader of the Meccan 
pilgrimage and Emir of a thousand. He was then 
appointed Governor of Tripoli, and after that, as we 
have seen through bloodshed and rebellion, reached 
at last the throne. On learning of his investiture, 
Syria led by Newroz and other Emirs, who professed 
to recognise the Caliph's sacred right, proclaimed a 
Holy war against his supercessor. Timurtash with 
his two nephews took the part of Sheikh against them. 
But Sheikh feared these three greatly, as having been 
prominent leaders in the recent turmoils. Ungrate- 
fully, therefore, he summoned them on false pretence 



SHEIKH 131 

to Cairo, where on ttieir being put to death he cried a.d. 1412. 
with delight, " Now I am really King, with these 
three men away ! " Having thus, by imprisonment 
or otherwise, got rid of all in Egypt of whom he was 
afraid, Sheikh marched against Damascus and there 1414. 
defeated Newroz who retired into the Citadel, but 
surrendered on a solemn oath being recorded in 
presence of the Cazie and High officers around, that 
he would be spared. Nevertheless, when he appeared, 
he was cast into prison on the irrelevant excuse that 
the lano;uao;e of the oath had not been understood ; 
there he was murdered, and his head hung up at the June, 
gate of Cairo. His successor, with other Syrian 
governors, again rebelled ; but the Commandant of 
the Damascus citadel remaining firm,^ the opposition 
was put down. In the following year the Sultan 1415. 
having again visited Syria, had the disloyal Gover- 
nors slain before his eyes. The result of this severity, 
however, and of his firm administration in Syria 
where he passed the winter, was to restore peace 
throughout the Province. After the execution of 
Newroz, Sheikh visited the cloister of the Syriakus 
Soofies, and witnessed their religious dances there, 
in penance it is said for his act of perjury. 

Asia Minor began again to attract attention. 1417. 
Mohammed i. was now regaining the territory of 

^ The citadels throughout Syria were now held by commandants 
independent of the city governors. 



132 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.I). 1417. which his Father had been stripped by Timur, but 
just then he was mainly engaged beyond the 
Bosphorus. The strongholds on the Armenian 
frontier had, during the disorder in Syria, cast off 

1418. their allegiance to Egypt ; and so in the spring of 

Spring, 

1418 A.D., Sheikh attended by the Caliph^ and Chief 
Cazie, marched with a strong force from Aleppo, 
retook Tarsus and reclaimed the disloyal territory. 
He then visited with devotion and alms^ivino; 
Jerusalem and the Holy places, and returned in 
triumph to his Capital. 
Oct. In the autumn of the same year, Syria was 

thrown into terror by the inroad of Kara Yusuf. 
It will be remembered that this Chief with Ahmed 
ibn Oweis, when prisoners in Syria, w^ere set at 
liberty about the time of Timur's death. Ahmed 
again got possession of Bagdad, but carrying his 
arms too far north was attacked and slain by 
Kara Yusuf. The latter, now Chief of the Black 
Weir horde, achieved distinguished victories in 
Kurdistan, and coming into conflict with Kara 
Yelek of the White Weir at Kalaat Rum, overthrew 
and pursued him into Syria. The country was 
affrighted and Aleppo deserted. The alarm reached 
even to Cairo, and was so great that the Sultan 

1 We find the Caliph in these days following the Sultan with 
the chief officers of his Court in his military expeditions, but with no 
authority and sinqily to grace the train. 



SHEIKH 133 

gave up the project lie was intent upon of a a.d. his. 
pilgrimage to Mecca. An army was being got 
together, when tidings reached that Kara Yusuf 
had retired.^ 

The northern border of Syria, however, had i4i9. 
again fallen away. The Turcomans of Asia Minor, 
aided by the remnants of Kara Yelek's scattered 
force, not only resumed hold of the frontier, but 
retook Tarsus. Ibrahim, the Sultan's eldest son, 
was now sent to restore what had been lost. In a 
splendid campaign he not only did so, but stretched 
his victories as far as Csesarea and centre of the 
Peninsula. He returned in state to Cairo, followed 
by a train of captives, and crowned with such 
distino-uished honour that his Father is said to have 
regarded him with envy if not with fear. His 
death the following year^ was the more unfortunate, 1420. 

May. 

as Egypt was again threatened by Kara Yusuf who 
demanded back the costly ornaments taken from 
him when cast into prison. A force was accord- 

^ The Sultan at this time made some alterations in the military- 
service, which illustrate the position of the memlukes. The army 
was composed of (1) regular troops in the pay of the State ; (2) the 
memlukes of the various Emirs, who supported them from their fieffs ; 
(3) the memlukes of the Sultan, paid from the royal domains. The 
Emirs had begun to transfer their memlukes to the regular line, and 
thus save the expense of their support. To remedy this abuse, the 
memlukes were given the choice of either remaining in the service of 
the Emir who owned them, or enlisting in the regular army. 

2 Attributed by some to poison at his father's instigation ; but by 
others this is denied. 



134 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1420. ingly sent to oppose liim ; but just then he was 
recalled to the east by the rebellion of his sons, 
and he died shortly after. The good tidings, how- 
ever, little moved the Sultan, for he had been for 
some time sick ; and now on the eve of death, 

1421. he nominated Ahmed, a son seventeen months of 

Jan. 

age, as Successor, with Altunbogha, his son-in-law 
still with the Syrian army, as Regent. For fear of 
disturbances, the last obsequies were carried on in 
the most abject form. The possessor of millions 
had for a winding-sheet but the turban of a slave- 
girl. He died at the age of fifty -five, having reigned 
eight years and a half. The verdict varies much 
as to his character. Macrizy is severe ; Abul 
Mahasin milder. ■■• While yet a subject, he had 
caused much misery through bloodshed, rebellion, 
and intrigue. But after reaching the throne, by firm- 
ness, bravery and wise administration, he restored 
peace and a measure of prosperity to a much harassed 
and disabled land. Treachery, as in the Newroz 
perjury, and assassination, were not wanting ; but in 

^ Aljul Mahasin, son of Tagri Berdy, was a favourite at Court, whicli 
no doubt influenced his verdict. He tells us that when a child (say about 
1414 A.D.) he ran up to the Sultan one day, and asked him for some- 
thing to eat. Sheikh bade them give him some bread. " That," cried 
the child, " is food for a beggar ; give me some flesh, fowl, fruit or 
sweetmeats ! " The Sultan was so j^leased that he gave him 300 dinars, 
and a pension ever after. The courtly life which followed may have 
led to a less unfavourable account both of Sheikh and his successors 
than we have at the hands of Macrizy and others. 



SHEIKH 135 

a less measure than in previous days. The nation a.d. 1421. 
still cowered under terrible exactions, and there are 
not even wanting instances in which, by a kind of 
lynch law, the people rose on their oppressors and 
executed justice for themselves. 

The mint value of the precious metals was 
frequently changed, and the singular device intro- 
duced of rating gold, as it came in, at a lower than 
the market value ; and, as it went out in payments, 
at a higher, so as to receive the more, and spend the 
less. The Sultan is praised not only as the friend of 
scholars and himself a poet and musician, but as an 
exemplary Believer, the princely title by which he is 
chiefly known being Al Mueyyad (the Victorious).^ 
When Egypt was visited by the plague, the Sultan 
clad as a dervish, followed by the Caliph and Cazies, 
and before them the Sheikhs carrying the Coran 
aloft, and the Jews and Christians their Torat and 
Gospel, walked to the sepulchre of Berkuck ; then, 
like all around, he bowed his head in prayer upon 
the bare ground ; and afterwards distributed food 
plentifully to the poor. He did the same after a 
three days' fast for the rising of the Nile in time 
of drought and famine ; and as one cried out for a 

1 That is " Victorious by Almiglity help." It is the title by which 
he is most generally called, and by which the Mosque he founded is 
to this day known in Cairo. The title also became the name of the 
faction composed of his memlukes and their followers, of whom we 
constantly hear in the coming struggles. 



136 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1421. blessing on him, he answered thus : — " Implore not 
Heaven's help for me ; I am here nought but as one 
of your own selves." ^ 

1416,1417. During this reign the Franks again attacked 
Alexandria, carrying off many captives and much 
booty. It may have been partly on this account 
that the laws against Jews and Christians were at 
the present time most rigorously enforced.^ But 
such indeed was only to be expected from a zealous 
Moslem, honoured for the foundation of a College 
and a Hospital, and above all for the conversion of 
the Prison in which he was once confined, into a 
royal Mosque. 

1 Even Macrizy is touched as he tells us this. " Such a man," he 
says, " were cajDable of better things, had there been more sincerity and 
honesty within." 

- In addition to other severe regulations, the Jews and Christians 
were now forbidden to have any Moslems in their service. 



CHAPTER XIV 

AHMED TATAR — MOHAMMED BURSBAI AL ASHRAF 

1421-1438 A.D. 

On the death of his father, the child Ahmed, not yet a.d. 1421. 

Jan. 

a year and a half old, was carried down crying from 
the Harem, then mounted on a horse, and brought in 
state into the Audience hall, where with a royal title 
he was saluted Sultan/ In Altunbogha's absence, 
Tatar, another Emir named by Sheikh as member of 
a temporary regency, seized the reins, gained over 
the army by largesses from the vast treasures 
accumulated by Sheikh ; and then with one sweep 
sent all in fetters to Alexandria of whom he was 
afraid. He guided the little Sultan's hand to sign 
the diploma of regency in his name, and so was 



1 It is amusing to read the titles of these childish Sultans, Thus 
the present infant was ennobled as Al Malik el Mozaffar, "the Conquer- 
ing Sovereign " ; and the next, a boy of ten years, Al Malik al ZdJiir 
Seifuddeen, "the Victorious King, Sword of the Faith." I have 
purposely refrained from burdening the page with the magniloquent 
titles given to the Sultans — slave-boys of yesterday, — according to 
Eastern wont. 



138 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1421. recognised as Regent by tlie Caliph and authorities 
at Cairo. There was rebellion against him in Syria, 
and Altunbogha at first holding himself the duly- 
appointed Regent, joined it ; but in the end, he sub- 
mitted himself to Tatar and put the rebellious 
Governor of Damascus to flight. He kept Tatar 
duly informed of his success; and when Tatar 
journeyed to Syria, welcomed him as Regent as he 

May. entered Damascus. With strange ingratitude Tatar 
had him fettered, and with many other Emirs of 
whom he was afraid, put to death. After visiting 
Aleppo, Tatar returned to Damascus, where fresh 
executions took place, and also at Cairo ; for by his 
command all who still adhered to the family of 
Sheikh were made away with. Then freed from 
fear of opposition, this blood-stained Emir deposed 

Aug. the child Ahmed, and himself assumed the Sultanate. 
The following month he returned to Cairo, and was 
received there with outward rejoicings. Shortly 
after, falling sick, he nominated his son Mohammed, 
a boy ten years of age, as Successor, with Bursbai, a 
Circassian like himself, Major-Domo, and Jani Beg 

Nov. the Regent. He died after a reign of but three 
months.^ 

^ Tatar, as well as Bursbai, was a Circassian slave of Berkuck. He 
was freed and put into the army by Faraj, and eventually made Emir 
by Sheikh. The Slave-dealer had him educated in theology and law, 
for young slaves accomplished in literature, theology, philosophy, or 
art, fetched all the higher price. 



MOHAMMED — BURSBAI 139 

As might have been foreseen, the two Emirs roseA.D. 1421. 
one against the other. But Bursbai in possession of 
the Citadel, seized Jani Beg along with his other 
enemies, and even such friends as he was doubtful 
of, and had them all imprisoned at Alexandria. 
Then with the countenance of the Governor of 1422. 

April. 

Damascus, he mounted the throne within half a year 
of Tatar's death. The opposite faction had been so 
largely extinguished or sent into exile that there 
was no opposition, and the deposed boy was given a 
wife and allowed freely to ride about the city ; ^ 
while even the customary largess to the royal 
memlukes was dispensed with. Bursbai made him- 
self popular among other things by fresh edicts 
against the Jews and Christians ; and also by per- 
mitting those approaching his person to kiss his 
hand or the hem of his garment, instead of kissing 
the ground as heretofore." 

For the next year and a half quiet prevailed 1423. 
throughout the empire, when in the autumn of 1 423 
A.D., a sensation was created by the escape of Jani 
Beg from Alexandria, no one could tell whither, 
torture and imprisonment notwithstanding. He 

^ The families and descendants of past Sultans, hitherto given 
residence in the Citadel, were about this time removed from it and 
thereafter lived in the city. 

2 This order was recalled : but instead of as formerly kissing the 
ground, it was allowed for any one approaching the Sultan first to 
touch the ground with his hand, and then to kiss it. 



140 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1423. remained long unknown ; but we shall hear more of 
him hereafter. Syria, compared with the past was 
loyal. The Governor of Safed, indeed, rebelled on 
the deposition of Tatar's son ; but at last gave in 
on a written promise sworn to by the Sultan that 
he would give him the Chiefship of Tripoli ; yet no 
sooner had the deluded Emir, clothed in a dress 

Sept. of honour, given up the citadel, tlian he was seized 
and put to death. ^ The following year the same fate 
befell the rebel Governor of Damascus. 

1424. Syria being now quiet, Bursbai turned his atten- 

Aug. 

tion to the pirates who had begun to infest the 
Syrian and Egyptian coast. A number of privateers 
manned by adventurers bent upon reprisals, sailed 
to Cyprus, and having plundered and set fire to 
Limasol, returned laden with captives and booty. 

1425. Thus encouraged, the Sultan in the following year 
fitted out a fleet with troops which landed at Fama- 
gusta, routed the enemy and, having plundered 
Larnaca and Limasol, carried off a thousand prisoners 
and vast booty, with which in triumph they entered 
Cairo. ^ The Sultan, however, had intended not a 
raid of this sort, but the conquest of the island. 

1426. With this object he now sent a formidable force 

1 A hundred of tlie garrison were executed, and thirty had their 
hands cut off — a sad example of barbarity. 

2 All were sold ; but it is mentioned as a singular proof of Bursbai's 
humanity that he would not sanction children or near relatives being 
sold apart from those on whom they were dependent. 



BURSBAI I'il 

which, after seizing Limasol, advanced to Larnaca, a.d. u2Q. 
and having defeated the Cyprian troops, took King 
Janus prisoner, and with a multitude of captives 
and spoil of every sort, carried him off to Cairo. They 
entered in royal triumph, in presence of the Court and 
foreign Embassies ; the booty on camels; the Cyprian 
crown; the Prince's horse, and captured ensigns; 
the captive men, women and children ; and behind 
all the King himself who, in clanking chains, 
kissed the ground at the Sultan's feet,— when falling 
senseless down, he was borne into the Citadel. In 
the end, however, the Venetian and other Consuls 
having arranged his ransom, he was not only set at 1427. 
liberty, but given a courtly robe and horse, and 
allowed to retun to Cyprus; henceforth, however, 
only as the Sultan's vassal.^ 

Some years earlier, the Shereef of Mecca having 1423. 
rebelled, an army restored the supremacy of Egypt 
over the Holy city and its seaport Jedda, and this 
led to a quickened interest in the commerce of the 
East. Aden had long been the port of traffic, but 
driven thence by oppressive treatment, an adventur- 
ous Captain about this time passed into the Eed 
Sea, and tried various harbours within the Straits 



1 The ransom was 300,000 dinars, with the yearly tribute of 20,000. 
Abul Mahasin was present at the entry and, his bigotry notwithstand- 
ing, speaks in praise of the King's intelligence and learning, adding 
that he was acquainted with Arabic. 



142 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1423. of Bab el Mandeb/ At first the merchants were 
driven back from these by similar exactions ; but 
better arrangements having been made, and an 
embargo laid on goods landed at Aden, Jedda at last 
became the recognised entrance, and Holy Mecca the 
busy crowded mart for Eastern merchandise.^ The 
Sultan, it is true, took pains in every way to prevent 
the sacred Courts from becoming a house of mer- 
chandise ; but, as Macrizy says, the traffic all round, 
and the never-ending hue and cry that at the risk 
of life all goods must pass through Egypt, sounded 
in strange discord with the solemn worship of the 
Kaaba. 

For at the present time an ordinance had been 
put in force that merchandise, from whatever quarter, 
brought through Arabia, Syria, or Irac, must first be 
carried either to Alexandria or to Cairo, and there 
exorbitantly taxed. The Government also assumed 

1428. the monopoly of eastern spices, and especially that 
of pepper, — measures which led to complaint ' and 
reprisal from the European Powers. Another burden 
which pressed sorely on the people, especially in 
time of plague,^ was the close manufacture and even 
growth of sugar. In fact the State interfered at 

1 Ibraliim he is called, a CaiJtain from Calicut. 

2 70,000 dinars are mentioned as the import duty charged on the 
single entry of a fleet of forty ships. 

^ In time of plague, sugar was prescribed as a medicine or pro- 
phylactic. 



BUESBAI 143 

every point with every branch of trade ; and the a.d. 1428. 
markets, even of corn and meat, were so lorded over 
as sometimes to be quite deserted, raising outbreaks 
as the consequence. Still worse were the outrages of 
the uncontrolled and wayward memlukes, who mis- 
handled the people to such a pitch that women dare 
hardly venture out. Exaction was rife all round, the 
horses of farmers, for example, being carried off for the 
army. In fact the troubles and burdens throughout 
the land were then, even in a time of peace, in some 
respects worse than they had ever been in time of 
war before. 

In the latter part of his reign, Bursbai was in i429. 
strained relations and frequent warfare with the 
Powers both in the East and North. Kara Yelek of 
the White Weir, whom Timur had rewarded for his 
services by the grant of Siwas, now came down in 
force upon the Syrian frontier. An army sent by 
Egypt to restore order besieged Roha, which was 
surrendered by Kara Yelek's son on condition of 
free exit. But the memluke hordes, sweepino- 
through the gates in wild disorder, carried rapine, 
outrage, and slaughter all before them. The city's 
fate is sad to read ; for the poor dishonoured women 
were carried off with their children to be sold as 
slaves at Aleppo. The marvel is that any Christians 
were left in Armenia or in those parts at all. The 
attack, however, overreached itself ; for in their wild 



144 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1430. excess, the army fell clean out of hand, and in con- 
fusion breaking up took its way back as it were in 
flight to Syria. To avenge this attack and the 
captivity of his son carried off" to Egypt, Kara Yelek 
ravaged again the border cities ; and having now the 
support of Shah Kookh, Timur's son, caused great 
alarm in Cairo. But pestilence and dearth put a stop 
to further hostilities for the time. 

1431,1432. In succeeding years, an angry correspondence 
arose with Shah Eookh, in which he demanded the 
right of furnishing the Kaaba curtain, to which 
the Sultan replied in terms of insult and defiance. 
Countenanced by the Shah, the attitude of Kara 
Yelek now looked so threatening, that Bursbai 

1433. himself headed an army which starting in the 
spring laid siege to Amid, the capital of Kara 
Yelek, at the time defended by his sons. After 
fruitless investment for a month, a hollow truce 
was made with Kara Yelek, on which the Sultan 
retired through the ruined Roha, and with tri- 
umphal but poorly deserved festivities, re-entered 

Sci)t. Cairo in the autumn, Kara Yelek continued 
his inroad on the border districts ; but in the 

1434. following year, he made outward submission to 

Aug. 

Egypt, and sent in proof thereof not only a 

gift of horses, but coins struck in the Sultan's 

le. 

The Syrian troops were still in Asia Minor, 



name 



BURSBAI 145 

having to hold in subjection the Chiefs of Karaman a.d. 1434. 
and Dulgadir ; and it is curious to find that when 
tlie son of the latter, on the siege of Marash, was 
sent a prisoner to Cairo, his wife was deputed 
thither with rich g;ifts to obtain from the Sultan the 
freedom of her son. Just then Jani Beg, after several i435. 

April. 

years' concealment, reappeared. The news was the 
more startling, as the exile had the countenance of 
Shah Eookh, with whom the Sultan's relations were 
now becoming critical. For the Shah had again made 
demands regarding Mecca, and announced with a 
solemn oath that his curtain should shroud the 
Kaaba ; to which Bursbai contemptuously replied 
that he might easily redeem the oath by selling 
the curtain and giving the proceeds to the poor. 
Another Envoy now appeared with a courtly robe, 
and the Shah's command that the Sultan should 
receive investiture in it as his vassal. The robe was 
torn in pieces and the Envoy ignominiously cast 
into a pond. " Tell thy master," said the Sultan, 
as he bid him go, " that we smile at his demand ; 
and if, to avenge thy disgrace, he appear not in 
the coming year, we shall hold him the weakest of 
manldnd."^ To be prepared for any such contingency, 1436. 
a strong force again advanced on Asia Minor ; and 

1 The Envoy, we are told, procured while in Egj'pt a copy of 
Macrizy's History, which must thus have been already in circulation ; 
and also copy of the Traditions of Bokhary. 
10 



146 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A. 11, 1436. Bursbai hearing that the Shah had made a like 
imperious demand on Morad, the Osmanly Sultan, 
took the occasion for making a defensive alliance 
ao-ainst the Shah with liim. 

1437. In Asia Minor the campaign was eminently 
successful, and drove back Jani Beg with the Dul- 
gadir Chiefs beyond Siwas. Jani Beg now fled 
for refuge to the sons of Kara Yelek, one of 
whom put him to death and sent his head to 
Cairo. The Sultan was beside himself with joy, 
had the head paraded round the City, and then 
cast into the mud. Kara Yelek himself had also some. 

1435. little time before lost his life at Erzengan, while 
fio;hting; on the Shah's side ao-ainst the Black Weir 
Chiefs ; and these sent his head likewise to Egypt. 
But no sooner had Bursbai begun to feel at ease by 
the removal of these his dreaded enemies, than 
another son of Kara Yelek, to avenge the death of 
Jani Beg, attacked and slew the murderer, and opened 
a fresh campaign against the Egyptians. Bursbai in 
alarm proposed to take the field himself; but in 
the end left the command to the Governor of 
Damascus, who in a prosperous campaign restored 
peace as far as Erzengan. Egyptian rule thus 
completely dominated the eastern half of Asia 

1438. Minor, as Osmanly rule the western. But before 
the news of this success reached Cairo, Bursbai had 
already passed away. 



BUESBAI 147 

Though Egypt under Bursbai prospered on the a.d. i438. 
whole, the Sultan yet betrayed in many points the 
common failings of the Mameluke. He was fond of 
show ; and a single dress of the Sultanah (little else 
we hear of his domestic life) cost 30,000 golden pieces, 
— the lot of one but recently a slave I His latter 
days were embittered by successive calamities, — 
plague, dearth and locusts. The outrages of the 
memlukes already noticed, grew worse and worse ; 
not only women but youths were shamelessly 
seized, till at last the streets were shunned. In 
the City alone, the plague carried off 300,000 within 
three months ; and the Sultan holding it a punish- 
ment for the sins of the people, prohibited females 
from appearing abroad, and sought to make atone- 
ment not only by fresh exactions from the Jews 
and Christians, but by destroying a Monastery held 
by them most sacred. ^ With the same object he 
threw open the prison doors (a strange mode of 
penance), so that the city was exposed thereby to 
the depredations of criminals and robbers. The 
plague at last entered the Citadel, and there seized 
both high and low, — Princesses, slave-girls, eunuchs, 
memlukes, — all around. Though the Sultan him- 



^ The heavy exactions on the Jews and Christians, which had 
heretofore been conducted by ofl&cials of rank and religious standing, 
were now placed in the hands of a low vagabond who ground down 
the poor Christians shamelessly. 



148 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.i). 1438. self escaped the plague, lie suffered from other 
illness ; and when his two physicians, honoured and 
respected men, could give him no relief, he had 
them both, the reclamations of his Courtiers not- 
withstanding, beheaded in presence of the city 
Prefects. Some weeks after, finding the end at 
hand, he named Yusuf his son Successor, with the 
Emir Jakmac for his guardian. Then having sum- 
moned the Mameluke leaders to his presence, he 
upbraided them at length, all in the Turkish tongue, 

1438. for their wildness and excesses, bade them be true 

1st June. • n 

to his Son, and so breathed his last. 

Macrizy condemns him as a cunning, cruel, 
avaricious tyrant ; and we have seen that, as oc- 
casion offered, he did not hesitate treacherously to 
rid himself of his opponents. All that can be said 
in his favour is that even in this respect he was 
not so bad as many who had gone before.^ 



1 Macrizy was not encouraged during tliis reign at Court, which 
may possihly have added liitterness to his tone. Abul Mahasin as 
a favourite there, is naturally milder. Other writers speak of the 
Sultan's prayers and fastings as mere hypocrisies. 



CHAPTER XV 

YUSUF JAKMAC AL ZAHIR 

1438-1453 A.D. 
Though Yusuf was nearly fifteen years of a_^e, theA.D. uss 

•^ -^ ^ 1st June, 

same fate befell him as that of his infant predecessor. 
Jakmac while simulating devotion to his ward, took 
possession of the Citadel, and gradually gained over 
the Aslirafite party, or that devoted to the late 
Sultan's house.^ The army shortly returning from 
its Asiatic campaign, the commander Kirkmash was 
led to believe that Jakmac was labouring to secure 
the crown for him. And when the deluded General 
was induced, as a feint for this end, to propose in an 



1 The memluke factions began now to be called by the titles of 
the Sultans to whom they belonged, or had in times past been 
attached. Thus while the Ashrafites are called after Bursbai al 
Ashraf (the Exalted); the Zdhirites are so called from Berkuck whose 
title (and that of Jakmac also) was al Zahir (the Victorious) ; and 
the Mueyyadites from Sheikh (and also Ahmed) al Mueyyad (the 
Heaven-heljied). These three are the chief factions, which now kept 
Cairo in continual turmoil. There were also other jjarties as the 
Ndsarites, or attaches of the Sultan Nasir. The Ashrafites and Zahirites 
were also divided into Old and New. 



150 THE CIRCASSIAN" DYNASTY 

A.D. 1438. assembly the name of Jakmac for tlie Sultanate, 
the Emirs to his dismay with one voice chimed in, 
and his rival was saluted Sovereign on the spot. 
Yusuf thus deposed after a reign of but three or 
four months was imprisoned in the Citadel. 

Sept. Jakmac, a Circassian slave of Berkuck, now aged 

thirty-five, had risen, like his predecessors, from 
being a page at Court, to the highest offices of State. 
To conciliate the unruly memluke hordes, he was 
obliged to give heavy largess to them all round, 
not as hitherto only to his own. Kirkmash find- 
ing himself overreached by Jakmac, gathered the 
Ashrafites about him and besieged the Citadel. He 
was beaten, seized, and sent in chains to Alexandria, 
where some months after, being condemned to 
death, he was carried naked into the city and 
publicly beheaded there. The Ashrafites at large 
were now visited with pains and penalties, many 
tortured and slain, and the remainder scattered to 
distant parts ; so that opposition at the Capital 
was for the moment quelled. 

In Syria it was otherwise, and Jakmac would 
have been wiser if, as advised, he had delayed his 
assumption of the Sultanate till he had gained favour 

1439. there. The Governor of Aleppo, after dissembling 

Feb. 

several months, joined the rebellion, proclaimed 
Yusuf as Sultan again, and took the field. Just 
then, aided by his eunuch, nurse and slave-girls, 



JAKMAC 151 

and disguised as a cook, Yusuf escaped from tlie a.d. 1439. 
Citadel, but finding little support, retired into a 
hiding-place. Jakmac was greatly disconcerted ; 
but by torture of the eunuch, nurse and others, 
the youth was at last discovered, and taken before 
the Sultan, who (better than most of his race) 
treated him well ; for Yusuf was sent to Alexandria 
and, though kept under restraint, settled comfort- 
ably there. His reappearance, however, had mean- 
while given strength to the conflict in Syria. Much 
fighting went on throughout the Province, but both 
at Damascus and Aleppo the rebels were defeated ; 
and the leaders, upstart slaves like their masters, 
after being tortured for their treasure, were with 
many of their followers cruelly put to death. There May. 
was festive rejoicing at Cairo when the head of the 
Aleppo Governor was paraded about the city and 
at last hung up at the city gate. The Ashrafite 
troops engaged in Upper Egypt against the Bedouins 
had also been gained over by the conspirators ; but 
eventually they met the same fate as the disloyalists 
in Syria. Rebellion thus put down, the large number 
of Emirs still in confinement at Alexandria were, for 
safety's sake, distributed in distant parts of the 
Empire, and thus by the middle of the year tran- 
quillity was again restored. 

His hands now free at home, Jakmac, as a 
good Moslem, turned his arms ag-ainst the Franks 



152 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. U40. whose freebooters had begun again to despoil the 
coast ; and, emboldened by the recent successes in 
Cyprus, sent repeated expeditions against Rhodes. 

Aug. The first, after devastating the island of Chateau- 
roux, was attacked by the Knights, and retired 

1442. with loss to Egypt. A second and more powerful 

May. 

expedition met with no better success. Determined 
still to crown the Holy war with victory, the Sultan 
manned a powerful fleet carrying a great body of 
1444. mariners with 1000 memlukes of his own.^ They 
landed and after plundering many villages besieged 
Rhodes for forty days ; but finding no prospect of 
anything but loss, returned home. And then the 
Sultan giving up the design as hopeless, entered 
into peaceful relations with the Order. 

The attitude of Jakmac towards the Mohammedan 
lands around was of the most friendly character. 
From the various Chiefships of Asia Minor, which 
had so often thrown off their allegiance, embassies 
with rich gifts and loyal assurances, were sent, and 
in royal style received at Cairo. With a daughter 
of the Dulgadir Chief of Ablestin who accompanied 
her father's embassy to Cairo, the Sultan contracted 
marriage : and two other Princesses from Asia Minor, 
one an Osmanly " Shahzadah," were also taken by him 

1 The fleet is spoken of as carrying 18,000 memlukes, so that, 
making allowance for exaggeration, the force must still have l)een 
very large. 



JAKMAC 153 

to wife. Early in the reign, Jakmac welcomed with a.d. 1440. 
distinguished lionour an Embassy from Shah Eookh 
followed by a string of camels laden with precious 
gifts, musk, and Eastern stuffs ; to which a fitting 
response with gifts of Egyptian rarities was made. 
Later the Shah again sought leave to hang, according 
to his oath, the Kaalia curtain, — which the Sultan, 
much against the will of his Emirs, conceded. In 
the following year, when the widow of Timur came 
for this pious end, the feeling in the City was so 1443. 
strong, that her princely following was stoned and 
plundered as it left the Citadel. The Sultan treated 
the offenders with condign punishment, and made 
such amends as satisfied the Queen, and restored 
confidence with the Shah. 

Frequent communications of an amicable kind 
with costly gifts passed also between the Sultan and 
the Osmanly Court. Thus with prosperity at home 
and friendly alliances abroad, the reign of Jakmac 
may be held the best, and (after the reduction of 
Syria) the most peaceful, which Egypt had known 
for many years. There was in it less of torture and 
assassination. Commerce was still hampered by the 
previous restrictions, and to these the Shah objected : 
but they were declared by the Doctors of the law to 
be just and proper for the due regulation of the trade. 
The chief blot in the administration was the un- 
bridled outrage of the memlukes which, however. 



154 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1452. affected individuals more than the community at 
large. Some very cruel instances of their savage 
treatment of obnoxious Emirs are given by the his- 
torian ; and such outbreaks the Sultan, being himself 
afraid, failed to visit with the punishment he ought. 
Jakmac was a pattern Mussulman. While Jews and 
Christians were severely handled,^ the laws against 
vice and licentiousness were vigorously enforced. 
Himself endowed with aesthetic tastes and a lover 
of beautiful manuscripts, the Sultan cultivated the 
friendship of the learned. He was kind and liberal, 
and left but little in his private chest. Fond of the 
fair sex, besides the Princesses already named, he 
married daughters of two of the Cazies ; and close 
on fourscore years, he took to himself another bride. 

1452. When near that age, he was seized with a lingering- 
illness ; and after suffering for a year, aware that the 
end was near, summoned to his presence the Caliph, 

1453. Cazies, and chief Emirs, announced his resignation, 

Jan. 

and bade them appoint a Successor. His eldest son 
described as a noble and learned Prince had died 
ten years before ; and so they nominated as his 
Successor the only remaining son, by name Othman, 
and he was done homage to at once. Jakmac died 
within a fortnight and was followed to the grave by 
the Court and a multitude of Citizens who mourned 

1 As an example of petty interference, they were forbidden to have 
their turbans made of scarfs longer than seven ells. 



JAKMAC 155 

the loss of one who for fifteen years had ruled them a.d. 1453. 
well/ 



1 Early in this reign (1441 a.d.) the historian Macrizy died, and 
henceforth we miss the profuse details with which his great work, up 
to the very close of his life, abounds. Besides his office at the head of 
the Cairo police, he was for some time guardian of an endowment at 
Damascus, and also employed as a Cazie there. He was never received 
at Court, and consequently fails to flatter. Henceforth, for another 
twenty years or so, we are much dependent on Abul Mahasin. 



CHAPTER XVI 

OTHMAN — INAL ^ 
1453-1461 A.D. 

A.D. 1453. Othman, son of a Greek slave-girl, though eighteen 

Feb. 

years of age, fared no better than previous sons of 
Sultans elevated to the throne. Cruel, vain and 
avaricious, he fell into the hands of his memlukes ; 
to meet whose greedy demands he had his Chief 
Minister flogged, tortured and deposed. This 
shameful treatment roused the indignation of the 
factions all around. These, with the Caliph's 
sanction, conspired to depose the young tyrant now 
gradually deserted by all but his own memlukes, 
and to raise Inal, the Admiral of the fleet against 
Rhodes, in his stead. The Citadel was attacked, 
and after a week's siege, was entered by Inal at an 
unprotected gate,^ on which Othman fled into his 

^ He and Jakmac were both called "Alalai" from having been 
bought from a dealer named Aly : they were also named al Zahir, 
as signifying the faction they came from. 

^ The " Chain " gate. 



OTHMAN — INAL 1 5 7 

Harem. Taken prisoner there, after a reign of but a.d. 1453. 
six weeks, he was sent in confinement to Alexandria, 
l^ut in hiter years allow^ed his freedom, 

Inal, who accepted the Sultanate not without March. 
considerable pressure, was so uneducated that he 
could not even sign his name. Like his predecessors, 
he had been the slave of Berkuck ; and then, as page 
of Faraj, freed and gradually promoted to military 
and naval command. Of a mild and easy nature, he 
fell into the hands of his memlukes ; and to gratify 
them made such demands upon the treasury, that 
the Chancellorship not only went a-begging, but 
high officers of State had to be flogged into accepting 
it. An expedition having been ordered to the 
Delta, the Sultan's Circassians insolently demanded 
more camels, which not being granted, they rose in 1455. 
rebellion around the Citadel. There they were 
joined by the Zahirites, who persuaded the Caliph 
also to join them and propose the restoration 
of Jakmac's son. This, however, displeased the 
royal memlukes, and led them to return to their 
Master, so that eventually the outbreak was defeated, 
and the Caliph sent a prisoner to Alexandria.^ The 
rebels were exiled or incarcerated ; and henceforth 



1 One begins to notice that tlie Calijjh has not only now much more 
freedom ; but, when loyal, has altogether a better place in societ}-, 
more honour, and greater influence than in the earlier Mameluke 
days. 



158 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1455. all memlakes were ousted from the Citadel, excepting 
those only of the royal retinue. 

The weak hand of Inal was impotent to hold the 
licentious memlukes in check who now swarmed in 
every Emir's employ. Their outrage and tyranny 
throughout this reign transcend description. They 
not only ravaged and plundered the country, but 
thought little of assailing the highest Emirs and 
ransacking their palaces. The Sultan himself was 
afraid of his own memlukes. Even the solemn 
sacrifice of Beiram with distribution of food to the 
poor, could no longer with safety be held in public, 
and had to be retired within the Palace walls. Fires 
were rife,^ goods exposed in shops seized, and 
markets deserted ; while financial and commercial 
reforms were dropped at the outcry of uproarious 
memlukes. The Emirs were powerless to resent 
attacks upon their own persons. On one occasion the 
Sultan himself, endeavouring to quell an outbreak 
in the Citadel, was pursued with stones, and with 
difticulty escaped barefoot into his Harem ; and at 
the last he was forced to quiet his slaves by con- 
cedino; their exorbitant demands. The memlukes 
were now all-powerful, and had officials deposed and 
changed at pleasure. To redress injustice com- 

^ The memlukes accused merchants from Karaman as being 
incendiaries, and their maltreatment led to reprisals against the 
Egyptians in the campaign noticed helow. 



INAL 159 

plainants, instead of the Courts, would repair to a.d. 1455. 
memluke leaders, who threatened and bullied the 
accused until their clients got what they wanted. 
Women were subjected to maltreatment even in the 
Mosque of Amru ; and yet neither Sultan nor magis- 
trates dared interfere. A terrible plague broke out ; i458. 
but the calamity failed to check the wild atrocities. 
The rioters not only attacked the passing biers, but 
ravaged the property of the dead, and enriched 
themselves from their estates. At last the pesti- 
lence reached the Citadel, and carried off m^ultitudes 
of the hated tyrants both within and without its 
walls ; — " the penalty of their vicious lives and a 
timely safeguard to the Citizens." ^ 

But it was not only at home the memlukes 1459. 
ruled ; their imperious demands extended even to 
foreign affairs. We have an instance in Cyprus, 
still tributary to Egypt. James 11., Archbishop of 
Nicosia, an illegitimate son of the late King, rebelled 
against Queen Charlotte and fled to Egypt where 
he was received with honour. The Sultan was at 
first disposed to support his claim ; but after the 
Queen had submitted her cause, and offered increased 
tribute, he changed his mind, and prepared a Firman 
confirming her in possession. The memlukes were 
displeased,^ mobbed her Embassy, and created so 

1 As Abul Maliasin in a satire writes. 

- Perhaps one reason was that James would not be regarded by 



160 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.I). 1460. dangerous a rising that Inal, unable to resist, 
equipped a fleet to place James upon the throne. 
It returned with only partial success, Charlotte 
having been assisted by Savoy and the Pope. A 

1401. second expedition was being fitted out at the time 
of the Sultan's death ; but in the end the Queen 
retained her throne, and things were left much as 
before. 

Inal's relations with the Moslem Powers around 
were of the most friendly kind, and specially so 
with those in Asia Minor and on the Armenian 
border. An Embassy arrived from the White Weir 
announcing a victory over the Black Weir, whose 
Chief had displeased Egypt by the reception of a 
rebel governor. The only campaign during this reign 
beyond that to Cyprus and for the punishment of 
Bedouin bandits who overran Lower Egypt, was 

1457. asainst the Chief of Karaman who attacked the 
Syrian frontier, and took possession of Adana and 
Tarsus. An army w^as accordingly sent to Asia 
Minor which, after the siege of Konieh and Csesarea, 
devastated the land, sparing neither mosques nor 
schools. Karaman gave in without fighting, and 
the following year peace was restored. 

Meanwhile, Constantinople had fallen and become 
the Turkish seat of government, tidings of which as 

them as illegitimate ; children of coiicubiiie.s and slave-girls being, in 
Moslem law, equally legitimate with those of married wives. 



INAL 161 

well as of the succeeding Osmanly victories in Servia, a.d. 1453. 

. 1 1 T T . . ^ . T^ 29th May. 

excited the liveliest joy m Cairo. For several days 
the success of the Turks, so soon to be their fatal 
foes, was celebrated by the Egyptians with grand 
festivity. Kepeated embassies with rich presents 
were exchanged between the two Courts ; and the 
congratulations of Inal on the Byzantine conquest 
were conveyed to Mohammed 11. in a princely poem, 
as well as in a versified despatch. 

At home the reign of Inal must be held a 
lamentable failure from the unchecked outbursts 
of memluke violence. There was undoubtedly less 
of tyranny, torture, and murder by the Sultan him- 
self and his officials than before. But no man was 
safe from the memlukes, and the very thieves and 
robbers assumed the memluke dress in order that 
they might the more safely carry on their work. 
Now for the first time both rich and poor had to 
protect their properties by trench and wall. The 
poets of the day decried the reign of Inal ; and all 
the more decried it, as he was not only niggardly 
but unlettered. He left a family by a single wife 
who (strange exception in this history) had not a 
single rival ; but a veil must be drawn over the 
lives of the Sultan and his Court in other resj)ects 
too dark to be mentioned here. 

Finding his death to be near, Inal called the i46i. 

Caliph and Doctors of the law, and motioned in a 
II 



162 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1461. Turkish whisper, for he could not speak, that 
Ahmed a son of mature years should succeed ; and 
accordingly homage was at once done to him in the 
Hall of Audience. Thus at the age of eighty, haying 
reigned eight years, Inal passed away. 




L211 




MINARET OF SULTAN INAL S TOMB. 

(on plain of kaitbai.) 



CHAPTER XVII 

AHMED — KHUSHCADAM 
1461-1467 A.D. 

The accession of Ahmed, diojnified by the title Al t-^- '^^^'^■ 

' ° •' Feb, 

Mueyyad, was everywhere accepted, and gave good 
promise for the future. He was thirty years of age 
and, judged by an Egyptian standard, upright and 
virtuous. Yet his reign was short and troubled, 
and one might even say that his very virtues in so 
depraved an age served but to hasten on the crisis. 
Bent upon reform, he refused the extravagant de- 
mands made by the royal memlukes on his eleva- 
tion. This so provoked them that forgetting for the 
moment their party jealousies, they joined the other 
factions in a conspiracy to dethrone their Master. 
The Ashrafites were in favour of Janim, Viceroy of 
Syria and Governor of Damascus, as the new Sultan ; 
the Zahirites preferred Khushcadam, Major-Domo of 
the Palace. Ahmed, ill-informed of what was passing, 
remained inactive, and thus gradually lost the support 
of his Courtiers. At last, becoming anxious, he 

163 



164 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1461. summoned them to his presence. But they, fearing 
his object, assembled instead in the Palace of Khush- 
cadam, and having matured their plans attacked 
the Citadel. On this Ahmed, after a reign of four 
months, resigned and was sent to Alexandria, where 
for a while he remained in fetters, but was eventu- 
ally released and lived for many years a retired and 
honoured life. 

June. While the Citadel was yet surrounded, Jani Beg a 

distinguished Emir persuaded the Ashrafite party 
of Janim, with the view of securing order for the 
moment, to proclaim his friend Khushcadam Sultan, 
telling; them that on Janim's arrival the throne 
would be peacefully given up to him. Khushcadam 
thus elected to the throne with the title oi Al Zdliir, 
was bought by Sultan Sheikh some fifty years before, 
employed as a page and gradually promoted till he 
became Governor of Damascus and Commander of 
the expedition to Karaman. Honoured by Ahmed 
as the head of his Court, he nevertheless joined the 
conspiracy against him, and now succeeded to the 
dignity of his banished Master. He was the first 
Sultan of undoubted Greek birth, the Circassians 
having now held the throne over fourscore years. ^ 

' Lachin is said by some to have been a Greek, but tins is questioned 
by others. Several of the Sultans, as we have seen, had Greek slave- 
girls for their mothers ; but none before the present Sultan had been 
himself imported as a young slave from Greece. His name is Persian 
for "Well-paced." 



KHUSHCADAM 165 

At Damascus the tidings caused great excite- a.d. i46i. 
meiit. The majority sided with the new Sultan ; 
but Janim trusting to the summons of his Ashrafite 
friends, set out for Cairo to the aharm of Khush- 
cadam who stopped him on the way. Janim, seeing 
that he was too late, submitted himself to the new 
Sultan, who to please the Ashrafites confirmed him 
at Damascus, but without the Viceroyalty of Syria. 
Shortly after, still jealous of the Ashrafites, he 
placed them all under restraint, — a measure which 
raised a rebellion in favour of a powerful Emir, the 
Atabeg. With the help of the Zahirites the danger 
was sot over ; but it so ao;itated the Sultan that he 
deposed Janim, who fearing further trial, fled to 
Usun Hasan of the White Weir. That Chief pleaded 
in vain for his forgiveness, and taking his part made 
an inroad on the Syrian frontier. The Sultan, dread- 
ing the return of Janim, prepared a force to pursue 
him ; but meantime tidings of his death rendered i463. 
its march unnecessary.^ 

We have seen that Khushcadam owed his eleva- 
tion to the friendship of Jani Beg, who skilfully 
outwitted the supporters of Janim. This distin- 
guished Emir having filled high ofiice at Jedda, was 

^ Abul Mahasin (as we have seen a favourite at Court) sought to 
reassure the Sultan when alarmed at this attack, by showing him that 
when his throne was much less stable, neither Janim, nor other more 
powerful Syrian Emirs could injure him, much less could they do 
so now. 



166 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.T.. 1463. honoured by the Princes of Arabia, and even of 
India. Just and generous he was held in high 
esteem for his splendid liberality ; worshipped by 
the people, his voice was law in all the domestic 
concerns of Cairo ; and whenever he rode abroad, 
he was attended by an admiring crowd of Zahirite 
friends and followers. But all this only served to 
kindle the hatred of the royal memlukes, and the 
jealousy of their Master. Khushcadam now turned 

Aug-. upon the friend to whom he owed the throne. One 
day as he entered the Citadel, he was set upon by 
the Sultan's slaves ; struck on the head and stabbed 
in the back, yet still showing signs of life he was 
dragged by the feet into the Court, and his brains 
dashed out by great stones. Then they pursued 
his companion, the Prefect of the City, and slew 
him with equal barbarity. Khushcadam with his 
minions, sat in the Hall above, aware of what was 
going on. By and by he asked the news ; " It 
is all right," was the reply. " Then let us go down," 
he said ; and as they descended he simply desired 
two winding-sheets to be brought, and the corpses to 
be washed and buried in them. This act of cruelty 
and base ingratitude was never forgotten ; for apart 
from Jani Beg's acts of beneficence, the splendour 
of his festivities, "vying with those of Harun 
Rashid," endeared him throughout the city. 

The removal of his friend failed to better Khush- 



KHUSHCADAM 167 

cadam's position, and lie soon began to reap tlie fruit 
of his evil doings. The Zahirites resented the death 
of their Chief, and were accordingly seized, banished, 
and imprisoned in Alexandria. Unexpectedly the 
Sultan found that the other faction, the Ashrafites and 
Inalites, to please whom he had been persecuting the 
Zahirites, had conspired to murder him, and appoint 
one of themselves in his stead. Seeing now the error 
of his ways, he sent for Kaitbai the leader of the 
Zahirites, who came surrounded for safety by a body 
of his clan ; but the Sultan received him graciously 
and throwing himself into his arms, begged him to 
overlook the past, promising pardon to all whom he 
had sent to prison. This again angered the Ashraf- 
ites, who had rejoiced in the Zahirite downfall, and 
had not forgotten the fate of Janim. But it afforded 
Khushcadam the opportunity of pitting the one 
faction against the other. Indeed it became now 
the Sultan's policy to multiply the divisions into 
which the memlukes had fallen, by alternate favour 
and flattery to intensify their jealousies, and by 
playing off the one against the other ^ so to hold his 

^ There were not only the old Ashrafites (those of Bursbai) but 
the new Ashrafites, called also Inalites (after Inal), who were in- 
dignant at the favours by which, the Sultan now sought to gain over 
the Zahirites ; — although previously it was very nii;ch to x^lease them 
that he had persecuted the Zahirites. These latter were very powerful, 
being the chief source of the cavalry ; but the Inalites were also very 
powerful. The Mueyyadites, the Sultan's own faction, were a com- 
paratively small body. 



168 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.u. 1463. own. Notwithstanding this, Khushcadam was still 
helplessly in the hands of his own slaves and the 
memlukes of former Sultans w^ho formed his body- 
guard ; for in order to secure their loyalty he was 
obliged to humour them, and let them have their 
way even in outrage and excess. For example they 
would seize the finest horses brought for sale, often 
without the payment of a dinar ; so that the markets 
were at times deserted.^ Such a state of things 
could not but cause intense dissatisfaction ; and, 
therefore, to ingratiate himself with the Cazies and 
influential classes, and gain their help in quieting 
the people, he caused the anti-Christian ordinances 
to be enforced again with great severity. But as 
his administration gained in power, he suffered them 
gradually to fall into abeyance. 

1461- To Cyprus the Sultan sent several expeditions, 

1463. "^ ^ _ -^ _ 

partly to support King James, but mainly to be rid 
of memlukes whom he feared. Some of these re- 
turning without his orders were roughly handled : 
others came back because they resented the fate of 
Jani Beg ; but these were passed by. One of the 
Egyptian Commanders, by his contemptuous treat- 
ment of the King, so aroused his hostility that he 
attacked and slew both him and many of the Egyptian 

^ Sent on an expedition to relieve Lower Egypt of tlie Bedouin 
bands by which it was infested, they carried off all the water-carts of 
the city, so that for days not a drop of water was to be had. 



KHUSHCADAM 169 

troops. Charlotte used the occasion to make advances a.d. ut>i. 
to the Sultan ; but in the end, the King continuing 
tributary, things ended pretty much as they began. 

The relations of Egypt with the Porte were now 1403. 
becoming strained. An Envoy bringing a despatch 
from Mohammed 11. couched in language to which 
Khushcadam took exception, added yet this in- 
dignity that, as he approached the royal presence, 
he refused to kiss the ground, alleging that having 
just prostrated himself in prayer, it would be an 
affront to the Almighty. On a subsequent occasion, 
conformino; to the usao-e, the Sultan was much 
pleased, and offered him presents for the Porte ; but 
these the Envoy declined, alleging that the dignity 
of his Court demanded a special Embassy for the 
occasion. The Sultan showed his displeasure in a 
contested Karaman succession. The Porte supported um. 
the claim of a son born of an Osmanly Princess, 
while Khushcadam took the side of a slave-girl's 
son, who with the help of Usun Hasan defeated 
his brother ; but eventually the latter assisted by 
Mohammed 11., whose conquests now extended far 
into Armenia, drove the intruder out. Thus, 
although no actual hostilities transpired, neither 
Court showed much affection for the other. 

In his dealings with the vassal principalities of i462. 
Asia Minor, the Sultan was neither wise nor always 
honest. Thus havino- desired Usun Hasan to take 



170 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.I). 1462. possession of Kliarput, lie secretly forbade Asian 
Chief of Ablestin to give it up. Shortly after Asian 
died by the dagger of an Assassin commissioned by 
the Sultan. This gave rise to troubles in Ablestin ; 
for the brothers of the murdered Prince fell out. 
The party favoured by Egypt was opposed by Shah 
Si war of Dulgadir, who had the Porte's support. 
An army was equipped against the Shah, but the 
result pertains to another reign. 

Throughout the Sultanate, but for unceasing 
Bedouin raids both in Upper and Lower Egypt, 
peace prevailed at home. By cleverly balancing 
the humours of the various factions, Khushcadam 
maintained his supremacy to the end. But the 
memlukes, especially his own, as we have seen, 
had life and property at their will, and perpetrated 
untold barbarities. The revenue was swelled by the 
sale of offices ; and for the Viceroyalty of Damascus 
45,000 golden pieces were given. Justice was 
prostituted, and the accused were sometimes sold 
into their pursuers' hands. Thus we are told of 
a Vizier handed over for 70,000 pieces to his 
enemies, who tortured him till he died. We need 
not wonder that such a venal and detestable ad- 
ministration gave rise to universal discontent and 
frequent popular outbursts. 

1467. Towards the close of the reign. Bedouin hordes 

caused terror and disorder not only in Egypt but in 



KHUSHCADAM 171 

Syria and Arabia where they even plundered the a.d. im. 
Pilgrim caravans. The standing army had gone to 
oppose Siwar ; and so another was being raised 
when the Sultan was seized with dysentery and 
rapidly declined so as at times to be insensible. 
Hearing that reports of his death had been spread 
abroad, he was about to punish the Ashrafite mem- 
lukes whom he suspected of disloyalty, when on Oct. 
the next day he passed away, and was followed to 
the grave but by few of his Courtiers. With every 
class he was unpopular, chiefly for the unrestrained 
tyranny of his memlukes, but also because of the 
cruelty, corruption and venality of his reign. He 
never hesitated to attain his ends by torture or the 
dagger, or in the last resort by poison. And the 
fate of Jani Beg was remembered to the last. He 
left two sons, but of them we hear nothing more. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

JELBAI TIMURBOGA KAITBAI 

1467-1496 A.D. ' 

A.D. 1467. For the next two montlis, Cairo was tlie scene of un- 

Oct. 

ceasing intrigue amongst the contending factions. 
The throne was occupied first by Jelbai a Circassian, 
and then by Timurboga a Greek. Both had risen 
in the usual way, and were now elevated by Zahirite 
influence to the Sultanate. The former was, after 
Dec. a couple of months dethroned and sent a captive 
to Alexandria. The second who followed was of a 
higher stamp, and had lie possessed the means of 
gratifying rampant factions around him, might have 
held his place. But the treasury was empty and, 
bribery apart, conspiracy must spread. The Muey- 
yads proclaimed one of themselves, Kheirbeg, 
Sultan ; but they were overmastered by the Ztthirites 

^ It was during the reign of Kaitbai that the historian Abul 
Mahasin died, 1470 a.d. The sources of our information are now 
sensibly diminished, and the details few and imperfect. Hence- 
forward, Ibn Ayas is our only local authority. He lived to see the 
fall of the Mameluke dynasty, surviving it by eight or nine years. 

172 



JELBAI — TIMURBOGA — KAITBAI 173 

who raised Kaitbai to the throne. Kheirbeg was a.d. i467. 
sent in fetters to Alexandria, while Timurbo^a after 
his reign of two months was treated honourably, and 
given a suitable residence at Damietta. 

Kaitbai, who now entered on a protracted reign, i468. 
was of Circassian birth. He was freed by Sultan'^''"" 
Jakmac, who had bought him as a boy for 50 
dinars. An accomplished spearman, he became a 
favourite at Court, and from being Atabek was now at 
last raised to the throne. A brave and able ruler, 
he owed his safety to an immense retinue of de- 
voted slaves, and could thus deal with the memluke 
factions at his will. There were the usual outbursts 
from time to time, but party was so balanced against 
party that the Government was safe. The chronic 
ill was penury. Although Kaitbai refused the 
customary succession largesses, money was needed 
at the outset for the sinews of war to repel Bedouin 
ravages, as well as meet dangers threatening Asia 
Minor ; and the mode of raising it was fit prelude for 
that which was to come. The President of the Council 
being held responsible, was robbed of everythino- he 
possessed, and then assessed in a sum which on his 
declaring his inability to pay, he was flogged in the 
Koyal presence. On this producing no effect, the 
Sultan himself took the cudgels till the wretched 
Emir's blood besprinkled the bystanders. At last, 
on agreeing to pay down 200,000 dinars, the bleed- 



174 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A. D. 1468. ing courtier was not only set at liberty, but clothed 
in a robe of honour. Such was the rude and 
versatile barbarity of Kaitbai's Court. 

Egypt was now at war with Siwar, Chief of 
Ablestin, the successor of Asian, who was assassinated 
(as we have seen) by the last Sultan. With the 
Porte's aid, he had recently driven back the 

1467. Egyptian forces and conquered the border lands 
as far even as Antioch and Tarsus. Desirous now 
of peace, Siwar sent all his Egyptian prisoners to 
Cairo with a pacific Embassy ; but the Sultan angry 
at the defeat of his troops, instead of renewing 
peace, sent another army against Aintab, which 
decoyed into a narrow pass and ignominiously de- 
feated, fell back upon Aleppo. In great alarm, 
Kaitbai resorted to cruel and unworthy means to 
raise money for a fresh campaign.^ With difficulty 
and delay, a third army was at last despatched ; but 
it fared no better than the last, and Siwar began 
now to assume sovereign airs and call himself the 
Lord of Syria. Straitened thus, Kaitbai bethought 
him of the Porte, which at his appeal withdrew its 
support ; and Siwar, thus deserted by his allies, 
retired into his stronghold of Ablestin. There he 
offered to surrender as vassal of the Sultan, and on 

1 For example, the liead Cazie was flogged by Kaitbai's own 
hands, and the Vizier subjected to torture till the required money 
was produced. 



JELBAI TIMURBOGA — KAITBAI 175 

promise of safe-conduct repaired to tlie Egyptian a. n. 1472. 
camp where lie was welcomed with apparent honour. 
But when the Commander was about to clothe him 
with a robe of honour, they cast instead a chain 
about his neck ; and of his followers some were cut 
down, and the remainder carried captive with him to 
Egypt. At Cairo with grand festivities, followed by 
singing men and women, and derisive shouts, this 
Prince of noble mien, clad mockingly in regal robes 
and seated on a charger, was brought before Kaitbai, 
who met him with a derisive welcome. The kingly 
dress was torn off, and the Prince with his kinsmen, 
bareheaded and with fetters on their necks, were led 
on camels to the City gate, where they were hung up, 
and the bodies left for two days a public spectacle. 
The Sultan justified this horrid treachery by the 
poor excuse that Siwar had dealt the same to a 
Syrian Chief. Such were the barbarous morals of 
the day. 

Egypt was still to be kept in alarm from the 
same quarter by the marvellous success of Usun 
Hasan throughout the East. In pretended vassalage, 
he sent repeated embassies to Egypt, and with one i467- 

1469 

of these the head of the Chief of the Black Weir 
over whom he had gained a signal victory. Carrying 
his conquests into Persia and even Central Asia, he 
despatched to Cairo also the head of the King of 
Samarcand which, however, Kaitbai, instead of 



176 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1469. hanging up like others at the city gate, caused rever- 
ently to be washed and buried. Returning now to 
Asia Minor, Usun tried conclusions with the Osmanly 
forces, took Tokat and overran Karaman, whose 

1471- Chief fled to the Porte. On this, Mohammed ii. at 

1473. 

the head of a powerful army by means of his 
artillery (little known as yet in the East) inflicted a 
crushing defeat on Usun. This was not displeasing 
to the Sultan, for Usun's scattered forces in conflict 
1475,1476. with the Egyptian troops, still ravaged the Syrian 
border. Usun died soon after, but his son maintained 
a hostile attitude, beat the Egyptian army attempt- 

1482. ing the capture of Roha, and paraded its General's 
head triumphantly throughout the border Chiefships. 
In alarm Kaitbai equipped another force for the pro- 

1483. tection of Aleppo ; but peace before long was restored 
again. 

The Sultan was glad of this, for conflict with 
the Porte loomed in the North. There was abundant 
cause for strained relations arising out of disputes in 
the numerous Chiefships of Asia, and in the appeals 
of the contending parties now to one and now to 
1481. another of the two Powers. But a more serious 
occasion now transpired. On the accession of Bajezed 
II., his brother Jem aspired to the throne, and when 
defeated, found with Kaitbai a princely refuge and 
the means of pilgrimage to Mecca. Then leaving 
his family under the Sultan's care, he made with 



KAITBAI 177 

the aid of Karaman another attempt at the throne, a.d. i489. 
Beaten again, he became the guest of the Grand 
Master at Rhodes, who was pressed by Bajazed, by 
the Pope, and by Kaitbai, each for his own end, 
to give him up. At hast he repaired to Rome, 
where, in prospect of a fresh Crusade, he met 
with a splendid reception from the Pope. To 
regain the Pretender, Kaitbai would have con- 
ceded much to the Pope, even (it is said) the 
cession of Jerusalem. But bribed by the Porte, and 
failing in the hope of a religious war, the Pope 
kept Jem in durance at Rome, where eventually 1495. 
he met his death by poison. 

The hostile feelings of Bajazed at the countenance 
given by Egypt to Jem, were accentuated by other 
causes, such as being hindered from the pious work 
of repairing the watercourses along the streets of 
Mecca, and the plunder of an Indian Embassy bear- 
ing the gift of a precious diamond dagger. Kaitbai 
restored the dagger, sending with it also gifts and a 
friendly message; but his Envoy was ill received, and 
hostilities ensued. Without warning, the Osmanlies 1 485, i486. 
fell upon the Syrian border, and took Tarsus, Adana 
and other cities. Fighting followed with various suc- 
cess ; but in the end, Egypt gained the victory in 
a bloody engagement near Adana, and carried off a 
multitude of captives who, with heads of the slain 
were led in triumph into Cairo. 



178 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1488. Not lone; after, war ag-ain broke out. Dissension 
liavino; arisen in the Province of Dulgadir, its Chief 
obtained the support of Kaitbai, while his brother's 
cause was taken up by the Porte. On this, a power- 
ful Egyptian army entered Asia Minor, and at 

1490. Csesarea inflicted again a crushing defeat upon the 
Turks ; after which it returned and entered Cairo 
with great rejoicings carrying the enemy's flags 
inverted, and followed by a long line of captives in 
chains. Still Kaitbai was in much alarm lest 
Bajazecl should seek for his revenge ; while the 
treasury was so empty, and the memluke claims so 
extravagant, that he even threatened at one time to 
resign. There prevailed also a severe dearth, which 
was intensified by the Porte's embargo on the passage 
(jf products, fabrics, and even slaves, across the 

1491. Syrian border. Meanwhile negotiations began again 
between the two Courts. Bajazed was appeased 
l^y an Embassy carrying back the captives taken 
in the war, and by princely gifts ; and all the 
more readily came to terms, as he was at the 
moment turning his eyes towards the conquest of 
Belgrade. Thus tlie fatal contest was delayed a 
little longer. 

Kaitbai, like Beibars, was fond of travel ; and 
spent much of his time hunting in various parts of 
Egypt. He journeyed to Aleppo and to the banks 
of the Euphrates, and stayed for a season at Dam- 



KAITBAI 179 

ascus ; Imt lie never led his troops, though once a.d. i487. 
about to do so. Penurious at home, he lavished the 
Imperial resources on the Holy places abroad, and on 
the seminaries of the chief Provincial cities. He wept 
on hearing that the Mosque of Medina had been 
destroyed by lightning, and spent 100,000 pieces on 
its reconstruction. He had a fellow-feeling with the 
Moors of Spain ; and to save them sent the Monks 
of the Church of the Piesurrection as an Embassy to 
King Ferdinand with the threat that if he did not 
spare Grenada, the Churches in the East would be 
demolished and pilgrimage put a stop to. About 
the same time, Kaitbai performed with pomp the 
Pilgrimage to Mecca, and was received on his return 
with princely rejoicings ; and soon after visited the 
Holy spots at Hebron and Jerusalem where he 
endowed a school. On his return, and again on the 
inauguration of a defensive tower at Alexandria, 
there was given him a royal reception on re-entering 
his Capital. The streets were laid with carpets, and 
the Sultanah welcomed her returning husband by 
lining the road from the Citadel gate to the Palace 
steps with gold-embroidered silk ; — a sad contrast to 
the misery around. 

For the last days of Kaitbai, though of peace 
abroad, were days of distress at home. The Plague, 
that curse of Egypt, swept over Cairo with such 
deadly violence that in one day and night twelve 



180 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

AD. 1492. thousand died; the poor Sultan lost his only wife 
and his daughter also in a single day, a third 
of the memlukes succumbed, and the city trembled. 
Two years after, a murrain laid low the camel 
herds, the staff of the empire. But the crisis 
of misfortune during Kaitbai's last years was the 
deadly strife of the memlukes under tw^o hostile 

1494,1495. leaders, Kansowah Khamsmieh and Akberdy. The 
Citadel was a constant scene of fighting and riot. 
Akberdy held the reins ; but being outwdtted at 
the last, fled to Gaza for his life, while Kansowah 
gained his place. Sunk in grief at the desperate 

1496. outlook, Kaitbai, now eighty-six years of age, took 
to his bed, and desired his son Mohammed, a 
lad of fourteen or fifteen years, to be proclaimed 

Aug. Sultan. Soon after he died, having reigned twenty- 
nine years, the longest term since the days of Nasir. 
He owed this protracted Sultanate to his ready 
address, the skill with which multiplying faithful 
slaves around him, he bound them by self-interest 
to himself. In his exactions, he was guilty of 
monstrous cruelties ; as, for example, the High 
Marshal was lashed by his own hand, and closeted 
in a turret of the Citadel where he died. Not only 
Jews and Christians, but merchants and rich citizens 
were stripped of their property, and even religious 
endowments had to yield to the necessities of the 
State, while he sought to make amends by pious 



KAITBAI 181 

services elsewhere. In short he was a grand Sultan, ad. 1496. 
too often a cruel tyrant, but withal an exemplary 
follower of the Moslem faith. He had but one 
wife, yet many concubines, a Circassian slave-girl 
being mother of the son who succeeded to the 
throne. 



CHAPTER XIX 

AL NASIR MOHAMMED 11. KANSOWAH AL ASHRAFY 

— JAN BELAT — TUMANBAI 

1496-1501 A.D. 

A.D. i49(-. We come now to a restless chapter, for within the 
next five years there were five accessions to the 
tlirone. Mohammed ii., son of the late Sultan, 
reigned for two years, a cruel and dissipated youth. 
Kansowah Khamsmieh^ having, as we have seen, put 
his antagonist Akberdy to flight, was now as Atabeg 
the virtual ruler. To rid himself of his opponents, 
he proclaimed an amnesty, and when trusting to it 
they came in, he caused the leaders to be seized and 
drowned in the Nile. Having by this and suchlike 
means rid himself of all Akberdy 's faction, in a few 
months lie aspired to the throne, and had himself pro- 

^ Tlie number of Emirs of this name is somewhat confusing. This 
one is called also KJiamsmie/i, " the Five hundred one." Then there 
is Kansowah, the next Sultan, called Al Ashrafic; and shortly after 
Sultan Kansowa Al Ghury. There is still another Kansowah Alalfie, 
who supported Khamsmieh in his attack on the Citadel. And there 
are several more, the name being a popular one at this time. 

182 



MOHAMAIED II 183 

claimed Sultan. But when lie sought to seize the a.d. 1496. 
Citadel, he was repulsed and wounded by fireworks 
from its walls. Failing in a second attack, he fled 
with his followers to Palestine, but was met at Gaza 
hy Akberdy who had been meanwhile recalled to 
Cairo. After a desperate fight in which Kansowah 
was at first the victor, Akberdy aided by Syrian 
friends put him to flight. Never again seen 
Kansowah is supposed to have been killed ; but as 
his body was not found, Cairo was for the next few 
years kept in excitement by reports of the tyrant's 
expected reappearance. Akberdy thus reinstated, Feb. 
entered Cairo with grand rejoicings. They were 
shortlived, for the two factions soon revived their 
hostile passions ; and, assuming each a royal standard, 
fought mercilessly for weeks, plundering at pleasure 
all around ; and much life was lost. The tumult in- 
creasing, Akberdy fled and was pursued to Syria where 
he attacked Damascus ; and eventually, treated as a 
rebel, took refuge with a son of Siwar in the north. 1407. 

The Sultan, as he advanced into youth, began a 
life of wild libertinism ; singing men and women 
were his companions in night orgies on the Nile ; 
with his slaves and comrades he paraded the streets, 
attacked men as they passed and entered houses in 
the dark, so that people had to keep lights burning 
at their doors, and even women of respectability 
were not safe. Thus he lost all title to respect. 



184 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1497. To meet the wild demands of the petulant crowds of 
memlukes around him, money was extorted by the 
lash, by torture, and even by the application of 
burning iron. Wearied at last by such excesses, 
Mohammed thought of going off to join Akberdy, 
but lie was betrayed, and the dromedary already 
w^aiting at his door, seized. He was now watched 
as a prisoner, while the memlukes carried their out- 
rages to such an excess that no man's life was safe. 
Careless of tlie disorder, the young Sultan continued 
his night debauches till in one of them he was cut 
down by Tumanbai the Chancellor, and his body 
with those of his followers left by the roadside. 
The abandoned youth had alienated every class and 
died by none regretted.^ 

1498. To Mohammed succeeded his uncle Kansowah 

Oct. 

Al Ashrafy, a Circassian slave bought by Sultan 
Kaitbai, who strangely enough after his purchase was 
found to be brother of the Sultan's wife Assilbai, 
Mohammed's mother. He was now twenty-live 
years old, and being superior to the ordinary run 
of memlukes, Cairo had a quieter time than usual 

1 It is instructive to notice in Weil's preface to vol. v. p. xii., that 
a contemporary writer praises this youth for his liberality and other 
virtues, probably because he had himself experienced his generosity. 
The details, however, given by Ibn Ayas and others leave no doubt 
of his abandoned life ; and that he should have been praised by any 
contemporary is rather proof of the depth to which the moral sentiment 
of the age had fallen. 



KANSOWAH — JAN BELAT — TUMANBAI 185 

imder his short reign. But he wanted strength to a.d. i-i98. 
cope with the wild and factious Emirs about him, 
and soon succumbed. His friend Tumanbai for a 
time stood by him ; but at List the Citadel being- 
stormed, he escaped in female disguise, and being even- 1500. 
tually seized was sent in confinement to Alexandria. 

The next two Sultans, originally like their pre- 
decessors Circassian slaves, held office but for a few 
months each. Jan Belat, aged forty-five and 
dignified by his marriage with Assilbai,^ ruled for 
half a year, when Tumanbai who held command in 
Syria, advanced on the Capital and, after much fight- 
ing captured the Citadel, on which he was saluted 
Sultan. Jan Belat was then sent a prisoner to Alex- 
andria and there by order of Tumanbai beheaded. 

The love and esteem with which Tumanbai had 1501. 

April. 

been before regarded was turned into hatred and 
terror at the cruelties he perpetrated on coming to 
the throne. The chief Cazie, for instance, having 
given his official sanction to the last Sultan's 
elevation, was on that account deposed, paraded 
half-naked about the streets, and then fined heavily." 

^ Assilbai was a slave-girl in Kaitbai's Hai'em, aud having presented 
liim with a son became his 0mm Walad, or freed concubine. More is 
mentioned of her than it is usual to hear of Mameluke ladies. She was 
so wealthy that hundreds of mules were needed to carry the property- 
to her new residence. After .Jan Belat's death she was robbed and 
ill-treated by Tumanbai. 

- On hearing of Tumanbai's rebellion, Jan Belat took fresh oaths 
from the Emirs and memlukes in presence of the Caliph and Judges 



186 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.J.. inoi. So also were many banished and some even drowned. 
Tumanbai married with great festivity another of 
Kaitbai's widows ; but the rejoicing was shortlived. 
The Emirs gradually fell off; and, attacked in the 
Citadel, he fled and found concealment in the house 
of a friend. 

Beyond the usual tale of cruelty and extortion, 
of incessant riot and outrage in the Capital, and 
repeated rebellion in Syria, there is in these few 
years little to relate. The chief danger was from 
the ever-recurring inroads of the marauding Bedouins 
who kept Egypt and Syria in continual terror. On 
one occasion having obtained a victory, they even 
threatened Cairo. But Tumanbai (before his acces- 
sion) pursued them into Upper Egypt ; and having 
treacherously got possession of their leader, beheaded 
him. Shortly after, he put the horde to flight, and 
returned with three hundred captives ; these were 
all hano'ed, and their women sold as slaves. 

on " Otliman's Copy of the Coran," the first mention I have met of this 
exempLir copied out by Othman's hand and lodged by his command 
in (Jairo, like that lately lost in the grand Mosque of Damascus. 



CHAPTER XX 

KANSOWA AL GHUEY 
1501-1516 A.D.i 

On the disappearance of Tumanbai, the city was a.d. ir.oi. 

April. 

disturbed by the mysterious report of Kansowah 
Khamsmieh's reappearance ; and it was not till 
after some days that the choice of the Emirs and 
memlukes fell upon Kansowa al Ghury. A 
Circassian slave, he had served Kaitbai as page and 
valet ; was over forty before he was raised to inde- 
pendence as Emir of ten ; and then, rapidly promoted 
to command of Tarsus, Aleppo and Malatia, he 
became Emir of a thousand, Chamberlain of the 
Court, and chief Vizier. At first he declined the 
throne ; but being pressed by the Emirs, who swore 
faithful service, he at last consented. He was now 
sixty years of age ; but, still firm and vigorous, 

' As we apj^i'oach the close of the history, one misses the rich 
details of Macrizy and Abiil Mahasin. We are indebted, however, to 
Ibn Ayas, who gives an intelligent narrative, but without the fulness 
of his predecessors. There are also Arabic and Turkish MSS., but of 
uncertain authority, which supplement his storv. 

187 



188 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1501. soon showed the Emirs that he was not to be over- 
ruled by any of them. 

The reio;n beo;an as usual with the removal of 
all Tumanbai's adherents. As dangerous to the 
throne, they were laid hold of, imprisoned or exiled 
and their property escheated ; while the opposite 
party were restored to freedom and raised again to 
power and office. Tumanbai from his hiding-place 
was found to be plotting against the new Sultan ; 
after some weeks, betrayed by his friends, he was 
murdered by the memlukes of an Emir whom he 
had put to death ; and so Kansowa was saved 
from that danger without arousing the hostilities 
of his predecessor's party. On the other hand, the 
remains of Jan Belat were brought from Alexandria 
where Tumanbai had caused him to be executed, 
and royally interred at Cairo. 

Present danger thus averted, Kansowa turned to 
the revenue administration. To replenish the empty 
treasury, exorbitant demands were levied on every 
kind of property to the extent of from seven to 
ten months' income ; even religious and charitable 
endowments not escaping. This was exacted with 
such severity, not only from Jews and Christians, 
but from every class, as to create outbreaks in the 
city. In Cairo, the tax-gatherer was pursued with 
stones, and the Governor of Damascus slain in 
an emeute. Besides depressing duties on commerce 



KANSOWA AL GHURY 189 

and trade, the coinage was largely depreciated ; and a.d. 150i. 
death-rates so heavily imposed that little was left 
for the survivors. An imprudent Counsellor having 
suggested a tax on slaves, the Sultan at the first 
approved ; but such a storm was roused against the 
project that he not only dropped it in alarm, but 
suffered its author to have his tongue cut out ; 
then, led all naked on a camel through the city, 
he was flogged and almost stoned to death ; a 
significant mark of the prevailing barbarity, of the 
Sultan's inhumanity, and of Mameluke notions as 
to the dignity of their race. 

The money thus wrung from the people was 
lavished first on the memlukes by whose help it 
had been raised, and then on the purchase of a 
multitude of slaves on whom, as fresh from abroad, 
the Sultan could the more safely confide. Next, 
there was much spent on public improvements ; 
fortifications at Alexandria Rosetta and elsewhere ; 
watercourses in Egypt ; a grand Mosque and College 
at Cairo ; and new structures within the Citadel, 
which was now surrounded by groves of shrubs and 
flowers from Syria. The revenues were also largely 
devoted to the beautifying of Mecca, and increasing 
the supply of water at the Holy shrines and on the 
Pilgrim routes. But what surpassed all else was 
the brilliancy of the Court of him who but yesterday 
had been purchased from the Slave-dealer. It was 



190 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.I). 1501. maintained in the utmost luxury and pomp of 
equipage, stud, and all surroundings. Fine gold was 
used, not merely at the royal table, but throughout 
the Palace down (we are told) to the very kitchen. 
The Sultan's own dress and toilet were adorned with 
all that was costly, grand and beautiful ; while 
poets, singers, musicians and story-tellers flocked 
to the Court, and flourished on the portions of the 
orphan and the poor.^ 

There is not much of importance to tell of the 
earlier years of this reign. The outrages of the royal 
memlukes must have become intolerable, for twice 

1502 and wliilc Kausowa took fresh oaths of loyalty from his 

1505. . . , 

Emirs, he also on his own part swore upon Othman's 
Coran, that he would no more suffer his memlukes 
to do them harm. We read also of some suspected 
treason, which led to punishments of more than 
ordinary l^arbarism.- Till near the close of the 
Sultanate, much was not done in fig^htino;. The 
Bedouins made their usual ravages, attacking Kerak 
and Jerusalem, but were repulsed l)y the Syrian 
1503. Emirs. Rebellion and rival factions at Mecca and 
Yenbo also rendered measures necessary for chastis- 

^ Such is tlie tale of Ilju Ayas, a witness on the spot, and there- 
fore, though with some possible exaggeration, to be dejjended on. 

- One of the victims died under excruciating torture inflicted in 
hope of further revelations. Greased cloth wound about his fingers 
was set on fire ; his forehead so tightly bound round, that the eyes 
were forced out ; and so on. 



KANSOWA AL GHURY 191 

ing the Shereefs and restoring order. But the chief a. d. ir,oi. 
concern was the fitting-out a fleet which should 
protect the Eastern seas from Portuguese attack. 

For it was at this time that Vasco da Gama, 
having in 1497 a.d. found his way round the Cape 
and obtained pilots from the coast of Zanzibar, 
pushed his way across the Indian Ocean to the 
shores of Malabar and Calicut, attacked the fleets 
that carried freight and pilgrims from India to the 
Red Sea, and struck terror into the potentates all 
around. The Princes of Guzerat and Yemen turned for 
help to Egypt. The Sultan accordingly fitted out a 
fleet of fifty vessels under his Admiral, Hosein the 
Kurd. Jedda by forced labour was soon fortified as 
a harbour of refuge from the Portuguese, and Arabia 
Felix and the Red Sea were protected. But the 
fleets in the ocean were at the mercy of the enemy. 
Various engagements took place ; in one of these, 1503,1504. 
an Egyptian ship belonging to Kansowa, and in the 
following year a fleet of seventeen vessels from 
Arabian harbours, were after a hard struggle taken 
by the Portuguese, the cargo seized, the pilgrims 
and crew slain, and the vessels burned. The Sultan 
was affi'onted and angry at the attacks upon the 
Red Sea, the loss of tolls and traffic, the indignities 
to which Mecca and its Port were subjected, and 
above all at the fate of his own ship, and he vowed 
vengeance upon Portugal. But first, through the 



192 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1501. Prior of Zion, he threatened the Pope that if he did 
not check Ferdinand and Manuel in their depreda- 
tions on the Indian Seas, he would destroy all his 
Holy places, and treat Christians as they were 

1508. treatina; the followers of Islam. Foiled in this 
demand, a naval enterprise was set on foot and 
carried out with various success. In one engage- 

1500. ment Lorenzo of Almeida was discomfited and lost 
his life ; but in the following year the defeat was 
avenged by a terrible discomfiture of the Egyptian 

1513. fleet. Some years after, Alfonso Abulquerque took 
Aden, while the Egyptian troops suffered disaster in 
Yemen. Kansowa now fitted out a new fleet to 
punish the enemy and protect the Indian trade ; but 
before its results were known, Egypt had lost her 
sovereignty, and the Red Sea with Mecca and all 
its Arabian interests had passed into Osmanly 
hands. 

The days of the Sultanate were now hastening 
to a close. There has been little to relate of the 
Porte for several years, and yet the fatal struggle 
was at hand. The last war (1490 a.d.) ended, as 
we have seen, in the defeat of the Osmanly arms. 
But peace had been restored, and friendly embassies 
with costly gifts resumed. Yet estrangement, 
sooner or later, was always imminent owing to the 
support, by one Court or by the other, of rival claims 
in Asia Minor and on the Syrian border. Bajazed was 



KANSOWA AL GHURY 193 

still engaged in Europe when there suddenly a.d. ir.oi 
appeared a new ground of hostility with Egypt. 
It arose out of the relations of the two kinwloms 
with the Safyide dynasty in the East ; and to it we 
must now for the moment turn. 

The immediate cause of the breach was Ismail 
Shah, the Safyide. He was descended, and the 
name derived, from Safyuddin, the famous mystic 
of Ardebil, whose Soofie tenets spread largely in the 
fourteenth century over Adzerbaijan. His house 
gained rapid power ; expelled by the Black Weir, 
they were supported by the White, with whom they 
intermarried, so that Ismail Shah was a maternal 
grandson of Usnn Hasan. Enmity, however, having 
broken out, Ismail's father was killed in an engaore- 1508. 
ment with the White Weir, and Ismail still a child 
carried with other captives to Istakhr. From thence he 
escaped to Lahijan, where he remained hidden among 
his kindred and nurtured by them in the ancestral 
faith. This he adopted with such enthusiastic zeal as 
to become head of the Soofie school. Then rallying 
his people around him, and resolved to avenge his 
father's death, he fought and defeated the Chief of 
the White Weir ; ^ continuing his conquests he rose 1499. 



1 The fierce intolerance of Ismail's faith may be gathered from the 
story that he had the body of his enemy roasted and eaten by his 
followers. He is also said to have had a pig brought up under the 
name of Bajazed, the utmost indignity a Moslem could devise. 
13 



194 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A. p. 1501. to great power in Persia, Kliorasan, and even 
Transoxanian lands. Returning to Adzerbaijan, he 
became a growing menace to the Porte, not only 
from his border conquests, but from his people's 
aggressive creed. Many of the Soofie faith had 
been arrested or exiled by Bajazed as dangerous 
to his rule ; and Ismail Shah's request, that instead 
they should be allowed free transit into Europe 
across the Bosphorus, was rejected. Upon this, 
Ismail sent an Embassy to the Venetians inviting 
them to join his arms and recover the territory taken 
from them by the Porte. Bajazed, angry with the 
Sultan, comj^lained bitterly that this Embassy had 
been suffered to pass through Syria. To appease 
him, Kansowa placed in confinement the Venetian 
merchants then in Syria and Egypt. And although, 
fearing rejDrisals from Venice, he after a year released 
them, yet the relations between Egypt and the Porte 
remained peaceful for a time. 

On the succession, however, of Selim to the 
throne, things took a very different turn. Not only 
had the attitude of Ismail become more threaten- 
ing, but Selim himself was more of the warrior 
than his Father. The claim of his brother Ahmed, 
moreover, who had conspired against him, was 
taken up by Ismail, who sought but unsuccessfully 
to gain Kansowa also to its support. Selim, more- 
over, feared his Shiea subjects, who sympathised with 



KANSOWA AL GHCRY 195 

the Soofie zealot, as dangerous to the throne, anclA.i). 1501. 
had them seized and even put to death. Ismail 
scandalised at the persecution of his followers, 
stepped forth as their avenger, and thus war became i5i3. 
inevitable. Selim set out against him, and battle 
was joined near Tebriz. The fanaticism of the 
Soofies, which led even to their women joining in 
the combat, failed against the cavalry and artillery 
of the Turks, and Ismail after a disastrous defeat 
fled and escaped. Selim, his provisions failing, i5i4. 
returned westward and spent the winter at Amasia. 
In the spring taking the field again, he attacked 1515. 
the Chief of Dulgadir who as Egypt's vassal had 
stood aloof, and sent his head with tidings of the 
victory to Kansowa. Then turning from the Shah, 
who had found his way back to Tebriz and in vain 
sought for peace, Selim overran Diarbekr and Meso- 
potamia, taking Roha, Nisibin, Mosul and other cities. 
Secure now against Ismail Shah, a larger project 
dawned upon Seltm ; it was the conquest of Egypt, 
and from Syria the invasion must be made. With 
no anxieties toward the North, he could now safely 
make the advance, and so in the spring of 1516 
A.D. he drew together for this end a great and well- 
appointed army ; and with the view of deceiving 
Egypt, represented his object to be the further 
pursuit of Ismail. Kansowa should have been 
earlier alive to the danger ; for the causes of 



196 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

-A. p. 1515. estrangement rapidly multiplied ; — another rebel 
brother of Selim allowed refuge in Egypt ; on 
Ahmed's death, his young son with a disloyal 
retinue provided for in Syria ; supplies for the 
Osmanly forces hindered by Chieftains dependent 
on Egypt ; and lastly, though without open coali- 
tion, an understanding (to say the least) between 
the Sultan and Ismail. But Kansowa had lost his 
opportunity. If at the first he had joined arms 
with the Soofie Prince, the issue might have been 
very different ; but he was, no doubt, unwilling 
by such an alliance to countenance, even in ap- 
pearance, a heresy so hateful to the Moslem world. 
And, moreover, he was now old, dependent on the 
factions around him, and never even at the best 
with any turn for war. 

His suspicions at last aroused, Kansowa spent 

1515,1516. the winter of 1515 a.d. and the spring of 1516 
in preparations for an army with which he pro- 
posed marching to the disturbed confines of Asia 
Minor, and thus being ready for all contingencies. 
AVhen just about to start, an Embassy arrived 
from Selim promising, still in friendlj^ terms, to 
appoint, as he had been asked, an Egyptian vassal 
to Dulgadir, and reopen the frontier as of old to 
the trafhc of goods and slaves. It was summer by 

18th May. the time that Kansowa started from Cairo with a 
numerous force, appointed well in all respects but 



KANSOWA AL GHURY 197 

in artillery. Leaving Tumanbeg as local Governor, a. d, i5i6. 
he marched in great pomp with music, singing and 
festivity. There followed fifteen Emirs of a thou- 
sand, besides many of less degree ; 5000 of his own 
memlukes, with the militia; and all this supple- 
mented as he passed along by Syrian and Bedouin 
contingents; so that they did not want for num- 
bers. ^ The high Officers of State, Caliph, Sheikhs 
and Courtiers, with Muedzzins, Doctors and Musi- 
cians, followed in his train. On the Avay he re- 
ceived also Ahmed, son of the late Pretender, 
and carried him along with courtly honours in 
the hope of drawing over his sympathisers from 
the Osmanly force. Advancing slowly he entered 
Damascus in state, with carpets spread in his 
pathway, while European merchants scattered gold 9th June. 
amongst the crowd. After a few days' stay he 
went forward leisurely, received at Hims and 
Hamah with festivities, towards Aleppo. Mean- 
while another Embassy arrived from the Osmanly 
camp which, in deceptive guise, brought costly 
gifts to the Sultan and also to the Caliph and 

1 Tlie normal strength of tlie Egyptian army is given at 26 Emirs 
of a thousand, besides the memlukes of Emirs of a hundred, and of 
ten. Kansowa, we are told, purchased in all 13,000 slaves. Two 
thousand of these were now left behind to hold the Citadel. 

Of this expedition Paolo Gierro writes :— " Erano col Soldano 
14,000 Mamaluchi con altrettanti cavalli di sotto schiavi, si bene 
instrutti d'armi e di cavalli, e d'altri pomposi ornamenti, che altro 
piu bel vedere al mondo non era." 



198 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.i). 1516. Prime Minister, with the request of Selim for a 
supply of Egyptian sugar and confectionery. It was 
also intimated that legal pronouncements against 
the fanatic Ismail had forced him again to prepare 
for war and take the field. The Chancellor Mus^hla 
Beg was sent with presents in return ; but by the 
time he reached the Osmanly camp, Selim had 
thrown off the garb of peace; and now to show 
his contempt of the Egyptians, treated the Embassy 
ignominiously, and sent back the Chancellor shaven 
and shorn, and mounted on a lame and wretched 
aliiraal, with the rest on foot. 

At Aleppo, Kheirbeg the Governor, who was 
secretly with the Porte (though the Sultan, advised 
of this by the Governor of Damascus, discredited 
the report), in order to veil his treachery gave him 
all the more splendid a reception ; but the inhabitants 
were much enraged against the memlukes for the 
outrages they perpetrated in the city. It was 
just then that Mughla Beg returning in wretched 
plight, brought tidings of the hostile attitude of 
Selim, and near approach of the Turkish host. All 
doubt now removed as to what was before them, 
a fresh oath of allegiance was taken by Kansowa 
from the Emirs, chief Cazies, and royal memlukes ; 
presents also were distributed to them, which the 
other memlukes not receiving were much displeased. 
The Sultan was again warned of Kheirbeg's dis- 



KANSOWA AL GHURY 199 

loyalty, and advised to put him out of the way ; a..d. 1516. 
but, dissuaded by the Emir Jau Berdy from what he 
represented as a proceeding at the moment danger- 
ous, Kansowa failed to do so.^ The army then set 
forward, and on 20th August, encamping on the i9th Aug. 
plain of Merj Dabik, a day's journey north of 
Aleppo, awaited there the enemy's approach ; for 
on this plain it was that the Empire's fate was 
now to be decided. The Egyptians, except the 
royal memlukes whom the Sultan sought to spare, 24tii Ang. 
fought well ; and at one time the Turkish outlook 
was so bad, that Selim had thoughts of falling back. 
But in the end, the Osmanlies, superior both in 
numbers and artillery, gained the day. Kheirbeg 
hastened the end by signalling retreat. The Egyp- 
tians were soon in full flight towards Damascus for 
the gates of Aleppo were closed against them but 
the Caliph and some chief Emirs went over to the 
enemy. Kansowa himself fell upon the field and 
his head was carried to the Conqueror.'^ 

^ -The Governor of Amlali was here put to death, becaitse he 
had served Selim, though under pressure, from which, as soon as it 
was possible, he loyally returned ; while the Sultan, against advice, 
let Khpirbeg, a much more dangerous man, alone. 

^ Accounts however vary. Kheirbeg spread report of his death 
to precipitate the Egyptian flight. According to some the Sultan was 
fouiid alive on the field, and his head cut off and buried to pre- 
vent its falling into the enemy's hands. The Osmanly account is 
that he was beheaded by a Turk whom Selim would haA'e put to 
death, but afterwards pardoned. 



200 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.u. 1516. Selim, welcomed by the inhabitants as a de- 
liverer from the excesses of the memlukes, entered 
Aleppo in triumph. The Caliph he received kindly ; 
but the Judges (the Hanefite alone had fled) he 
upbraided with their inability to check Mameluke 
misrule. Joined by Kheirbeg and other Egyptian 
officers, he proceeded to the Citadel, of which the 
Commandant had with the fugitives disappeared ; 
and to show his contempt of the garrison sent 
before him a lame soldier with a wooden club, to 
whom the gates at once were opened. There he 
found immense treasures which the Sultan and 
Emirs had placed for safety, but now left behind.^ 
Followed with festivity and rejoicing to the great 
Mosque, he was there prayed for in the Public 
service. From Aleppo he marched victoriously to 
Damascus where the utmost terror prevailed. But 
beyond some attempts to protect the city by flood- 
ing the plain around, nothing had been done to 
oppose the enemy. Action was paralysed as usual 
by discord amongst the Emirs. Some thought 
of Jan Berdy as Sultan, others of Kansowa's 
son. But as the Osmanlies approached, all either 
went over to them, or fled to Egypt. Selim 

Oct. entered the city about the middle of October ; 
and the inhabitants high and low, only too 
happy to escape the tyranny of the memlukes, 

1 A hundred million golden pieces is the extravagant sum named. 



KANSOWA AL GHURY 201 

readily tendered submission to the Osmanly Con- a.d. i5i6. 
queror. 

Kansowa had reigned a little more than fifteen 
years. Of his private life and domestic administra- 
tion we know but little, for as we reach the later 
years of the Sultanate, details become too scanty 
for a judgment. He could, as we have seen, be 
cruel and extortionate, but so far as our informa- 
tion goes, there is less to say against him than 
against most of the previous Sultans. 



CHAPTER XXI 

TUMANBEG 
1516-1517 A.D. 

A. D, 1516. Tidings of the defeat and of Kansowa's death 

Sept. 

Oct. reached Cairo early in September. But the grave 

issue at hand was long of being realised by either 
rulers or people ; and when it was realised, there 
could be no more remarkable proof of the utter want 
of patriotism in the multitude of memlukes, than 
the difficulty found by Tumanbeg, the governing 
Emir, in rousing them to a sense of the Empire's 
danger, or even of bribing them to measures of 
defence. A month passed, waiting return of the 
Chiefs from Syria, before steps were taken for the 
election of a successor to Kansowa. The choice at 
last fell on Tumanbeg. He long refused the dignity, 
but was persuaded by a holy Sheikh living near the 
City, who made all the Emirs swear obedience and 
loyalty to him. Like his predecessors having been 
in early youth a domestic slave of the Palace,^ he 

^ Having belonged to tlie deceased Sultan, he was curiously enough 
entitled his son, — Ibn Kansowa. 



TUMANBEG 203 

gradually rose to be Emir of a hundred, and then a.d. i516. 
Prime Minister, which office he held until the de- 
parture of Kansowa, who left him in charge of 
Cairo and Governor of Egypt. The Caliph having 
remained behind with Selim, Tumanbeg was now nth Oct. 
inaugurated by his Son, but without pomp or cere- 
mony, the royal insignia having been lost in battle. 
It was a dark and thankless dignity to which, now at 
the age of forty, he was called ; — Syria gone, the 
troops in disorder, the Emirs distracted, the memlukes 
a mercenary horde. Yet he ruled well for the time he 
held the throne, and was popular throughout the land. 
In course of time, the fugitive chiefs, with Jan Nov. 

' ° Dec. 

Berdy, arrived from Damascus ; but another month 
elapsed before an army could be got together. 
Meanwhile, Tripoli, Safed and other Syrian strong- 
holds, besides Damascus, had fallen into the enemy's 
hands. It was thus the beginning of December 
before the force now raised at Cairo, — delayed and 
diminished by the insatiable demands and wayward- 
ness of the memlukes, — set out under Jjin Berdy in 
the forlorn hope of saving Gaza ; but before it i7th. 
reached its destination, Gaza had already fallen, and 
the army was beaten back. During Jan Berdy's 
absence an Embassy arrived with a despatch from 
Selim who, boasting of his victories, and the 
adhesion of the Caliph, Judges and other leaders 
who had joined him, demanded of the Sultan that 



204 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1516. his supremacy should be acknowledged both in the 
Coinage and the public Prayers : — " Do this," he said ; 
" and Egypt shall remain untouched ; else swiftly I 
come to destroy thee, and thy memlukes with thee, 
from off the face of the earth." Though the Envoy 
and his followers were hooted and mishandled in the 
City, the Sultan was inclined to fall in with the 
Porte's demand ; but his infatuated Emirs overcame 
his better judgment, and the Osmanly messengers 
were put to death. 

Tidings of disaster now followed rapidly on one 
another. Terror and dismay pervaded the City. 
The treachery of Kheirbeg and many other 
Emirs made the prospect all the darker. The in- 
habitants of Gaza having, on a false report of 
Egyptian victory, attacked the Turkish garrison, 
were by Selim's order in great numbers massacred. 
The news of Jan Berdy's discomfiture increased 
the gloom ; the more so as he himself, shortly after 
appearing, attributed the defeat not only to the 
numbers of the enemy, but to the cowardice of his 
mercenary followers, while even his own loyalty 
began to be suspected. The Sultan now resolved 
himself to march out as far as Salahia, and there 
meet the Turks wearied by the desert march ; but 
at the last yielded to his Emirs who entrenched 
themselves at Ridanieh a little way out of the city. 
By this time, the Osmanlies having reached Arish, 



TUMANBEG 205 

were marching unopposed by Salahia and Bilbeis to a.d. 1517. 
Khanka ; and on the 20th January reached Birkat al 
Hajj, a few hours from the Capital. Two days 
later the main body confronted the Egyptian en- 22nd Jan. 
trenchment ; while a party crossing the Mocattam 
hill took them in the flank. A battle followed. 
Tumanbeg fought bravely. With a band of devoted 
followers, he threw himself into the midst of the 
Turkish ranks, and reached even to Selim's tent. 
But in the end the Egyptians were routed, and fled 
two miles up the Nile. The Osmanlies then entered 
the City unopposed. They took the Citadel and 
slew the entire Circassian garrison, while all around 
the streets became the scene of terrible outrage. 
Seltm himself occupied an island close to Bulac. 
The following day his Vizier, entering the city, en- 
deavoured to stop the wild rapine of the troops ; 
and the Caliph, who had followed in Selim's train, 
led the Public service invoking blessing on his name.^ 
Still plunder and riot went on. The Turks seized 
all they could lay hold of, and threatened death 
unless on payment of large ransom. The Circassians 
were everywhere pursued and mercilessly slaugh- 

1 The Caliph's prayer is thus given by Ibn Ayas, the epithets 
being in the dual number : — " Lord, uphold the Sultan, Monarch 
both of land and the two Seas ; Conqueror of both Hosts ; King of both 
Iracs ; Minister of both Holy cities ; the great Prince Selim Shah ! 
grant him Thy heavenly aid and glorious victories ! King of the 
present and the future, Lord of the Universe ! " 



206 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1517. tered, their heads being hung up around the battle- 

26th Jan. field. It was not till some days had passed, that 
Selim with the Caliph, whose influence for mercy 
began now to be felt, having entered the city stopped 
these wild hostilities, and the inhabitants began 
again to feel some measure of security. 

27th. The following night, Tumanbeg reappeared and 

with his Bedouin allies took possession of the weakly 
garrisoned city, and at daylight drove back the 
Osmanlies with great loss. The approaches were 
entrenched, and the Friday service once more 

29th. solemnised in name of the Egyptian Sultan. But 
at midnight the enemy again returned in over- 
powering force, scattered the memlukes into their 
hiding-places, while the Sultan fled across the Nile 
to Jizeh, and eventually found refuge in Upper 
Egypt. 

Satisfied with this victory, Selim returning again 
to his island, had a red and white flas; in token 
of amnesty hoisted over his tent. The memlukes, 
however, were excluded from it. They were ruth- 
lessly pursued, proclamation made that any shelter- 
ing them would be put to death, and 800 thus 
discovered were beheaded. Many citizens were 
spared at the entreaty of the Caliph, who now 
occupied a more prominent place than ever under 
the Egyptian Sultanate, The son of Kansowa al 
Ghury was received with distinction and granted 



TUMANBEG 207 

the College founded by the Sultan his father as a a.d. 1517. 
dwelling-place. Soon after, the amnesty was ex- 
tended to all the hidden Emirs, who as they 
appeared were upbraided by Selim, and then dis- 
tributed in cells throughout the Citadel. Jan Berdy 
who fought bravely at Ridanieh, but now cast 
himself at Selim's feet, was alone received with 
honour and even given a command to fight against 
the Bedouins.^ Having strongly garrisoned the 
Citadel, Selim now took up his residence there, and 
for security had a detachment quartered at foot of 
the great entrance gate. 

For Tumanbeg had again assumed the offensive. 
Well supported by memlukes and Bedouins, he had 
taken up a threatening attitude there, and stopped 
the supplies from Upper Egypt. At the last, how- 
ever, wearied with the continued struggle, he made 
advances, and offered to recognise the Porte's 
supremacy if the invaders would retire. Selim 
thereupon commissioned the Caliph with the four 
Cazies to accompany a Turkish deputation for the 
purpose of arranging terms ; but the Caliph disliking 
the duty sent his Deputy instead. When Tumanbeg 
heard the conditions offered, he would gladly have 

1 There is a great diversity of opinion as to when Jan Berdy either 
openly or by collusion took the Turkish side. The presumption is 
that he was faithful up to the battle of Eidanieh, and then seeing the 
cause hopeless retired and went over to the Porte about the end of 
January. :. 



208 THE CIRCASSIAN DYNASTY 

A.D. 1517. accepted them ; but was overruled by his Emirs, who 
distrusting Selim, slew the Turkish members of the 
Embassy with one of the Cazies/ and thus madly 
stopped negotiations. Selim upon this, revenged 
himself by the equally savage act of putting to death 
the Emirs imprisoned in the Citadel to the number 
of fifty-seven. 

March. The Sultau who had still a considerable following 

now returned to Jizeh ; and Selim, finding diflSculty 
in the passage of his troops, was obliged to build a 
bridge of boats across the Nile.^ Tumanbeg gathered 
his forces under the Pyramids, and there, towards the 
end of March, the two armies met. Though well 
supported by his General Shadibeg he was, after 
two days' fighting, beaten, and sought refuge with 
a Bedouin Chief whose life he once had saved, but 
who now ungratefully betrayed him into Turkish 
hands. ^ He was carried in fetters into Selim's 
presence, who upbraided him for his obstinate 
hostility and the murder of his messengers. The 

1 Because by accusing a memluke to Selim, he had caused him to 
be put to death. 

2 Wearied with the struggle Selim, we are told, sent an Emir again 
to see whether terms could not be secured ; but it only came to an 
angry interview with the General Shadibeg, and a struggle in which 
the Emir was wounded and with his followers fled. Ibn Ayas, hoAv- 
ever, does not notice this somewhat unlikely incident. 

3 He was rewarded for the betrayal. But he was afterwards 
murdered, when the Circassians drank up his blood, and the friends of 
the late Sultan held rejoicings when his head was hung up in the city. 



TUMANBEG 209 

captive Sultan held a noble front; he denied com- a.i.. im?. 
plicity in the murder, and spoke out so fearlessly 
on the justice of his cause and duty to fight for the 
honour and independence of his people, that Selim 
was inclined to spare him, and carry him in his 
train to Constantinople. But the traitor Kheirbeg, 
and ev^en Jan Berdy, urged that so long as he sur- 
vived, the Osmanly rule would be in jeopardy. The 
argument was specious ; and so the unfortunate 
Sultan was cast into prison, and shortly after hung istiiAini]. 
up as a malefactor at the City gate. The body 
remained suspended thus three days, and then 
was buried. Shadibeg, similarly betrayed, was at 
the same time put to death. The sad death of 
Tumanbai created such a sensation that an attempt 
was made by an Emir and a body of devoted 
followers to assassinate Selim by night. But the 
Palace guard was on the alert, or the desperate 
design mig-ht have succeeded. 

Tumanbeg, forty years of age, had reigned but 
three months and a half. He left no family ; his 
widow, a daughter of Akberdy, was for her treasure 
tortured. Both as Governor during Kansowa's ab- 
sence, and during his own short Sultanate, he proved 
himself brave, generous and just, and his death was 
mourned throughout the land. Last of the race he 
was one of the best. And so with the death of Tum- 
anbeg, the Mameluke dynasty came to its tragic end. 
14 



CHAPTER XXII 



SELIM AND THE CALIPH MUTAWAKKIL 



A.ij. 1517. After the death of Tumanbeg, Selim stayed still 
several months in Egypt. He visited the Pyramids 
and Alexandria ; and it was autumn before he 

Se]it. marched back to Constantinople. Kheirbeg obtained 
as reward for his services the government of Egypt, 
and Jan Berdy that of Syria ; while the Citadel, 
the key of Cairo, was given over to the watchful 
command of a Turkish Pasha. On his departure, 
Selim carried the Caliph with him ; a multitude also 
followed in his suite, amongst whom were the sons 
of former Sultans and Cazies, many of the learned 
class, with Sheikhs, officials, builders and handicrafts- 
men. The City was also denuded of the finest 
marbles that adorned the Palace and other public 
buildings. With these, and a great collection of 
gold and silver plate, ornaments and precious stuffs, 
a thousand camels were laden, besides what the 
numberless Pashas, officers and Turkish soldiers 

210 



SELIM 211 

were able to spoil Egypt of. The land, too, was a.,), isi; 
bereft of its finest horses, mules and camels. 

Cairo had now the unhappy experience of falling 
from an Imperial city to the rank of a provincial 
town. The people, however, were relieved by Selim's 
departure ; for during the eight months he resided in 
Egypt, his hand was little seen except in executions. 
Leaving the administration to the Viziers and officials 
about him, he spent his time in wine and the 
darker induls^ences of the East, while the irrelicrious 
lives of his followers caused much offence throughout 
the land. 

The son of Ahmed, the Byzantine Pretender who 
had since Kansowa's defeat remained hid in Cairo, 
was shortly after Selim's departure betrayed by 
his slaves. Afraid of his sympathisers, Kheirbeg 
had him brought fettered and disguised by night 
into the Citadel and strangled there. Unpopular at 
the first with the Emirs and memlukes, Kheirbeg 
gradually regained their friendship, and was able 
with their help in some measure to bridle the 
Turkish Janissaries and Sepahies whose insolence 
had become intolerable. Once or twice he was 
called to account, but unjustly so, by the Porte, 
which had carried off" his son by way of hostao-e 
to Constantinople. Kheirbeg's administration is 
praised as upright and successful. He remained 
true to the Porte until his death (1522 a.d.). 



212 THE OSMANLY DYNASTY 

.\.D. 1517. Jfui Berdy, still Governor of Syria, joined Kheirbeg's 
successor in an unsuccessful rising against the Porte, 
but was beaten, and so forfeited his life. 

In Syria there continued as before several 
separate governments or Pashalics ; in Egypt only 
one, the Pasha being changed from Constantinople 
year by year. The Commander of the forces held 
the Citadel ; but did not interfere excepting on 
emergency, and after consulting a Dewan composed 
of the Cazies and other leading men. The change of 
government gave no relief from the tyranny and 
exactions which before had ground the people down. 
Indeed in one respect the land was worse off than 
for centuries it had been ; for the fruit of the soil and 
of peasant labour, formerly consumed at home, was 
now in great part carried off to northern shores. 

MuTAWAKKiL, the last Caliph of his race, followed, 
as we have seen, in Selim's suite to Constantinople, 
and was held by him there at first in high esteem. 
This he gradually forfeited by a graceless and un- 
worthy life. Accused of misappropriating the effects 
of widows and orphans committed to his charge 
during the attack on Cairo, he was confined in 
1520. the fortress of Sabaa Kuliat outside Constantinople, 
and so remained till Selim's death. His successor, 
Suleiman, permitted him to return to Constant- 
inople, where for some time he lived on a daily 



THE CALIPH MUTAWAKKIL 213 

stipend of 60 dirhems. Eventually, on formally a.u. lou 
surrendering his title and office into the hands 
of the Osmanlies he was allowed to retire to 
Cairo. We hear no more of him but that he 
joined a rising there and died in 1538.^ 

In virtue of Mutawakkil havino^ resisined to them 
his office, the Osmanly Sultans assume that the func- 
tions appertaining to the Caliphate, those namely 
exercised by the Omeyyad and Abbaside Caliphs, 
both spiritual and temporal, have devolved upon 
them ; and therefore that, like these, they are entitled 
as " Successors of the Prophet " to all the privileges, 
and bound to perform all the duties appertaining to 
the office, including Supreme rule over the Moslem 
world. AVere there no other bar, the Tartar blood 
flowing in their veins would make the assumption 
altogether out of the question. Even if based on 
intermarriage with female descendants of Coreishite 
stock, the claim would be a weak anachronism. The 
real Caliphate ended with the fall of Bagdad and 
death of Zahir, the last Caliph of Abbaside descent ; 
and so did the Fatimide (or schismatic) Caliphate end 
with its abolition by Saladin. Tlie resuscitation l^y 



' Ibii Ayas who contiuued iu Egypt and notices tlie arrival of 
persons from Constantinople, nowhere mentions the Caliph's return ; 
so that it must have been after 1522 A.r>. when Ibn Ayas' history 
ends. 



214 THE OSMANLY CALIPHATE 

A. P. 1517. Beibars of the sacred office was (as we have seen) a 
political measure meant to give an air of legitimacy 
to the throne, and weaken the Fatimide faction 
which threatened it. The Egyptian Caliphs were 
possessed of no authority. They were but servants 
and spiritual advisers of the Crow-n, fitted at best to 
e'race the Court, and eive to each new Sultan an air 
of religious recognition. The Mameluke Caliphate 
was a lifeless show ; the Osmanly Caliphate is but a 
dream. 




■fct-'^' ^-^nf^^^^r 






■ -• ■ f fc 







THE CITADEL ; FROM THE MOKATTA:^ HILL. 
<. MOSQUE OF SA8m IBN KILAWUN. 6 tO b 



CHAPTER XXIII 



THE MAMELUKE EACE 



A FEW closing remarks may be not altogether out of 
place on the exceptional position and long dominion 
of the Mamelukes in Egypt. 

We search in vain for a parallel in the history of 
the world. Slaves have risen on their masters and 
become for the moment dominant. But for a com- 
munity of purchased bondsmen, maintained and 
multiplied by a continuous stream of slaves bought, 
like themselves and by themselves, from Asiatic 
salesmen ; such a community ruling at will over a 
rich country with outlying lands, — the slave of 
to-day the Sovereign of to-morrow, — the entire 
governing body of the same slavish race ; that such 
a state of things should hold good for two centuries 
and a half, might at first sight seem incredible. But 
it is the simple truth of the Mameluke dynasty 
during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 

The rise of the race has been traced in Chapter 
I. as due to the bad example of the Abbaside 



215 



216 THE MAMELUKES 

Caliphate in summoning barbarous races for its 
support to Bagdad ; an example that was followed 
by the Anti-Caliphate of Egypt ; and which was 
continued also by Saladin and his followers most 
unwisely, for their protection against the dangerous 
community of slaves already so created. The end, 
as we have seen, was the overthrow of the Eyyul)- 
ites by the dynasty of the Mamelukes. 

But now the parallel with Bagdad fails. There 
and elsewhere the barbarous races, mingling with 
the peoples around them, became eventually part 
and parcel of the population of the land. In Egypt 
it was far different, and here begins the marvel. 
For the Mamelukes kept themselves there quite 
separate and distinct from the races whom they 
governed. They formed, in fact, an Oligarchy ; for 
while it was the Sultan and Emirs who ruled, still 
the whole body of memlukes would ever and anon 
assert supremacy at their will. Their separation 
from the Copts, an abject oppressed race, and of a 
different faith, is quite intelligible. But why they 
held tliemselves equally aloof from the Semitic races 
around, is not so easily understood. In Cairo it is 
true, citizens of those races were comparatively few 
and uninfluential ; while Syria had been depressed 
and depopulated by two centuries of Crusading- 
warfare. But the Mamelukes were possessed of 
tracts and cities beyond Syria on the Armenian 



THE MAMELUKES 2l7 

frontier, and of districts even in Asia Minor ; and 
yet with these, maintaining as elsewhere an entirely 
separate existence, they had neither domestic nor 
social relations. It is this singular isolation, from 
first to last, which distinguishes the Mameluke from 
all other races, which kept them an integral and 
independent people, and which may be looked upon 
as one of the important causes of their long-con- 
tinued reimi. 

o 

Of their habits and inner life we have scarcely 
anything as our guide. To one dark feature 
we can but distantly allude. And of their Harems 
and domestic surroundings there is absolutely 
nothing to go upon but the occasional mention of a 
Queen or female slave. No doubt female slaves were 
to some extent imported from Asia as well as Greece, 
but the mention of such is comparatively rare. 
Women taken captive in war were, it is true, 
brought at times in great numbers and, when not 
kept by their captors, sold as slaves in Egypt. But 
these (in addition to their own daughters) w^ould 
hardly suffice as wives and concubines for the multi- 
plying thousands of the Mameluke race. Anyhow, 
it is certain that as a rule they did not intermarry 
with the Natives of the land, though marriage with 
Christian w^omen is jDcrmissible in Islam. We read, 
no doubt, of occasional marriages with daughters of 
Cazies and other influential residents of Semitic 



218 THE MAMELUKES 

blood in Cairo ; but such were comparatively few, 
and led to no further union with that race. One 
can only state the difficulty without attempting to 
explain it. 

A remarkable feature of the Mamelukes was that 
while they held together as a single people, they 
were divided into many factions each with a leader 
or patron at its head. A memluke would attach 
himself with rigid faithfulness to the Sultan or 
Emir who had bought him ; and would devote him- 
self with zeal to his patron's party, and to his family 
long years even after he had passed away, and even 
to generations following. Thus we have the Ashrafites, 
the Zdhirites, the Mueyyadkes, etc., so called from 
the Sultans and leaders whose name they bear. The 
broils and combats of the various factions so formed, 
while they often paralysed the administration, at the 
same time roused an independent and courageous 
spirit which made the Mameluke feared by those 
without his circle. It should be noticed also that 
the Mamelukes were often highly educated. They 
were brought up in the school both of war and 
peace ; while yet young, they were sometimes 
proficient in philosophy, divinity and science, as 
well as in chivalry and arms ; and were thus well 
qualified for high office and command. It was not, 
however, always so, for we read of Sultans who could 
not even sign their name ; and among themselves 



THE MAMELUKES 219 

they maintained the use of their own Turkish or 
Circassian tongue. 

Yet another feature of the race was their im- 
perfect sense of the hereditary title. The favourite 
slave might succeed, and was sometimes known 
even as his master's " son." In the vast majority of 
cases, however, the succession to the throne was 
given to the Sultan's son, often a mere child, — shortly, 
however, to be cast aside by his Atabek or other 
designing Emir, It is thus that only in the case 
of Nasir son of Kilawun the succession continued 
to the third and fourth generations. The crown, as 
a rule, was the prize of the strongest, most crafty 
and overbearing, and often most cruel and un- 
principled, of the Emirs. All regarded it as the 
heritage of the race ; and the possible grasp of it, 
and of the high offices of State, quickened no doubt 
the interest of all in the perpetuation of the Oligarchy. 
A still further source of attachment was the vast 
wealth the Emirs could grind out of the people, as 
well as the rich fieffs and estates given them by the 
State, and the grand pavilions which they could 
thus build for themselves ; though these possessions 
w^ere often held by the most precarious tenure, and 
lost in the confusion and turmoil of the day. 

Cruel and treacherous as a race, there are not 
wanting instances, though few and far between, of 
just and upright Eulers, and of true benevolent and 



220 THE MAMELUKES 

honourable men ; — many who founded charitable 
pious and literary endowments, Schools and Colleges 
for Medicine, Philosophy, Art and Science, and Orphan 
homes ; some who left behind them monuments of 
their age in beautiful buildings which, however 
defaced and robbed of ornaments by Ottoman bar- 
barism, still adorn the Capital ; as w^ell as a few 
who checked the scandalous oppression wliich more 
or less throughout the Dynasty prevailed against the 
Jews and Christians. But the vast majority with 
an almost incredible indifference to human life, were 
treacherous and bloodthirsty, and betrayed, especially 
in the later days of the Dynasty, a diabolic resort 
to poison and the rack, the lash, the halter and 
assassination such as makes the blood run cold to 
think of; and that not only for Imperial objects 
Ijut to extract money from an unoffending people. 
To resume ; — the wonder is that a foreign yoke 
so feared and hateful was not long before destroyed. 
Its continuance, as I have sought to show, arose in 
chief part from the depressed condition of the Copts ; 
for beside them, there was no sufficient citizenship 
to match the Mameluke ascendency. The Caliph 
was their creature, and the Semitic heads of society 
(though holding all the learned, legal and spiritual 
offices) were so subordinate and comparatively few 
as never to venture on any organised antagonism. 
Why the Fatimide rule had failed to raise up a larger 



THE MAMELUKES 221 

and more powerful Semitic body in Alexandria, Cairo, 
and Palestine, one cannot say ; but so it was. Still 
more difficult is it to account for the subservience of 
Syria at large ; but, the battlefield of the world, it 
no lono-er ventured on any combined and independent 
policy. Mameluke garrisons held the citadels, and 
Mameluke governors ruled the land, while Native 
rule was never thought of. The Bedouins, it is true, 
were an independent race ; but with their roving 
habits, they never settled anywhere, nor held long 
together for any common object. With the Mame- 
lukes it was otherwise. Their party-hatred and 
internal fightings notwithstanding, they were as 
reoards the outer world an integral and united 
Oligarchy. And though not rooted as in a native soil, 
yet in course of time everything that was valuable 
in land had passed into their hands, and they never 
hesitated to fill their coffers at the expense of those 
around them. Thus rich and powerful and unscrup- 
ulous, they were enabled to hold the people in abject 
and unquestioned thraldom. 

These considerations may, in some degree, help 
to account for the long-continued Mameluke suprem- 
acy in Egypt ; but it must still remain one of the 
strange and undecipherable phenomena in that land 
of many mysteries. 




STOOL ()U STA.NU OK BKONZE, IMLAIU AND EMBlti ilUEUED WITH MLVKli. FOUND IN 
NASIK IBN KILAWUN'S MOSQUE, AND SUPPOSED TO BE OF HIS AGE. PRESERVED 
IN CAIRO MUSEUM. 






V 




TOP OP THE STOOL IN PKEVIOUS PICTURE. 




TOP OF A STOOL, INLAID WITH SILVEIt, FOUXD I\ TIIK lld.SyUE OF SHABAX, 
SON OF NASIIJ, AND PRESERVED IN CAIRO MUSEUM. 



APPENDIX I 



BRIEF NOTICE OF THE MAMELUKES UNDER OSMANLY RULE. 

Under Ottoman rule, the Mamelukes still maintained their a.d. 1517- 
hold upon Egypt ; and as the Porte's prestige began from 
time to time to wane, so likewise did the influence of its 
Cairo representative ; and in the same measure did that of 
the Beys and their Mamelukes gain ascendency. They 
remained, as in generations past, a separate race not 
mingling with those around them ; and they still continued 
to multiply their numbers by the flow of slaves purchased 
by themselves from Siberia, Circassia and adjoining lands. 
The head of the Mamelukes came to be called Sheikh id 
Belcd, or "Chief of the Land"; and to gain this office, 
strife and combat too often embittered the race, and 
caused fighting and disorder to prevail. The Sheikh when 
supported by the Emirs was all-powerful ; and the Porte, 
with its local Pashas, must in that case abide by his 
demands. The virtual ruler was the Sheikh. 

In the latter half of the eighteenth century, the Porte 
being then at war with Russia, the famous Aly Bey, as 
Sheikh ul Beled, gradually reduced the Janissaries, the 
Osmanly prop ; while he increased the number of the Court 
memlukes till they reached six thousand. Then assuming 
independent power, he sent back the Ottoman Governor 
to Constantinople. Victorious also over Syria and the 
Bedouins, he was recognised as Lord of the Holy places 
by the Shereef of Mecca, who also conferred upon him 
the title of Sultan. But, after a brilliant reign, he was 
eventually betrayed in Syria and slain. 



224 APPENDIX I 

A.D. 1798- Ibrahim was Sheikh when Napoleon, to protect the 
1800. interests of France, took possession of Egypt ; but the com- 
bined action of England and the Porte forced him to leave 
it, and then Ibrahim who had fled to Upper Egypt was 
restored to power. 

It is needless here to follow the course of events till at 
length Mahomet Aly gained the supreme authority ; and 
fearing the Mamelukes took measures to get rid of them ; 
1805. but the savage act by which he put an end to the leaders 
1811. of the race did not take place for six years after. The 
Beys and Emirs were then invited to an entertainment in 
the Citadel. On their taking leave, the outer gates were 
closed ; and, every way of egress barred, the whole body, 
said to have been four hundred and seventy in number, 
were shot down. By further orders, the multitude of 
Mamelukes in Cairo and throughout the land were pursued, 
slain or chased abroad. A body escaped to Nubia, but 
are said to have met the same fate there. The few that 
survived in Egypt mingled at last with those around 
them, and are not now, it is said, to be distinguished from 
the general population. 

So ended the Mameluke race, which for generations 
had lorded it over Egypt, and Cairo enjoyed a rest it had 
never known before. 



A P P E N D IX II 

IMEMOUANDUM BY HIS EXCELLENCY YACOUB AKTIN PASHA 
ON THE RELATION OF THE MAMELUKES TO THE GENERAL 
POPULATION. 

(Bcioif/ ansiocrs to questions 'put to him hij the Avthor.) 

In your letter you ask me several questions. I will 
try to answer them to the best of my ability. 

1. "The Mamelukes came under the Porte in 1517. 
Up to that time I imagine they kept alto- 
gether a separate and a dominant race ? " 

Yes, provided that he who deals with their history 
does not forget that the Mamelukes never pretended to 
create a race by intermarriage with the inhabitants of the 
countries in which they held sway. Even with the 
female consorts of their own race they did not pretend to 
establish dominant families, or an aristocracy of any kind. 
A characteristic feature of their moral and social code was 
that a child should never succeed his father. The slave 
or mameluke succeeded his slave-master, and became the 
protector of the lawful family of his master. In many 
instances he took his master's wives into his own harem ; 
and if he did not slay the children, the perverted habits 
he allowed them to acquire in the harem brought them to 
an early grave. The more we approach our own period in 
history, the more this idea of a democratic slave -soldiery 
predominates amongst them. 
15 



226 APPENDIX II 

2. "After that, did they keep as distinct as before, 
or did they at all mingle with the people, Arabs, 
or other inhabitants of the land, or with popu- 
lations which came in from Syria, Asia Minor, 
etc. ? " 

ISTo, they kept distinct. Continuing to be a body of 
soldiers holding the country, they held to their paramount 
principle of not establishing themselves permanently. The 
maintenance of their political position required them to 
stand always in the breach. Fighting was their principal 
interest in life, even with each other, or with the people 
of the country, in order to keep them down. Leading such 
an existence, family life was rendered well-nigh impossible. 
Very few of this soldiery died at home in their own bed ; 
nearly ninety, or perhaps more, per cent, used to die a 
violent death, and most of them were under thirty or 
thirty-five years of age. At death, their property, house, 
goods, female slaves, male mamelukes, children, and, in 
fact, everything went to their master, to their murderer, or 
to the State, whichever was the strongest. In the event of 
the State being the most powerful, everything belonging to 
the dead man, including his children, was sold for the 
benefit of the Bait-el-Mfd (Treasury) : otherwise, his estate 
passed into the hands of the foremost and strongest 
Mameluke chief. Those Mamelukes who lived in retire- 
ment and led a civil life, who married, and in the majority 
of cases had children, were, in the first or second genera- 
tion, merged into the Egyptian people. Their children 
were called " Muwellid " (native - born), or nicknamed 
■" Abdullawi," i.e. degenerate, or good-for-nothing as soldiers 
or administrators. You will find in the Chronicles of 
Gabarti several cases of this absorption. The most pro- 
minent is probably that of Abd-el-Eahman Kahia, the 
master of Ali Bey, in the second half of the eighteenth 
century. Another example, one you must know by name, 
is that of Mahmoud Pasha Sami, of the family of Baroudi, 
who is now in Ceylon with Arabi Pasha. He pretends 



APPENDIX II 227 

to be a descendant of the Sultan-el-Ghouri, but is known 
to be the great-grandson of a Mameluke of Ali T3ey 
(eighteenth century) whom the latter intrusted with the 
arsenal whicli he created at Boulak. Even after the death 
of his master, Ali Bey, this Mameluke kept his post, because 
of his knowledge of powder-making, bronze gun-casting, etc. 
Hence his surname of Baroudi, which signifies " powder- 
maker." His son went on with the concern, and married 
a Circassian slave : their only child, a daughter, was 
married to a Circassian male slave, who became the father 
of Mahmoud Sami. Mahmoud Pasha Sami married a great- 
niece of Mohammed Ali Pasha, and he has several children 
by her living. Here is, then, an instance of a family of 
about one hundred and fifty years' standing in Egypt, 
sprung from a Mameluke, and of which the main line has 
been kept distinct from the surrounding population, be- 
cause the men always married Asiatic slave-girls of their 
own race, except this Mahmoud Pasha Sami, who (as 
already explained) married a freeborn girl. But she also 
had no Egyptian blood in her. Instances of this kind 
are rare, to my knowledge ; but instances of families of 
less than one hundred years' standing, i.e. subsequent to 
the conquest of Mohammed Ali Pasha, are numerous. 
Generally speaking, all foreigners, or those of foreign 
extraction by both parents, prefer to keep distinct from 
the different dark-hued Egyptians ; but there are many 
instances of their having commingled. There is no fixed 
rule in the matter, but owing to the difficulty of finding a 
wife or a husband of the same race or of the same fortune, 
or owing to the growing keenness in the struggle for exist- 
ence, the tendency for about twenty years past has been 
to mix. Furthermore, some thirty years ago, Ismail Pasha 
changed the official language from Turkish to Arabic, 
That has had a great effect on the tendencies of the Turks 
and Circassians — at anyrate of Mussulmans of foreign 
descent — to approach the Egyptians, and not to treat 
them as a conquered race, but to try to be accepted as 
Egyptians by the Egyptians. This sentiment was carried 



228 APPENDIX II 

to its extreme in the time of Arabi Pasha's revolution, 
1882, when I saw people who had not a single drop 
of Arab blood in their veins, pretending to be connected 
with the Arabian prophet's family. This movement is 
spreading, and in another thirty years I believe it will be 
difficult to find a pure- bred Turk or Circassian. All of the 
existing families will have become mixed with Egyptians, 
and of course the Egyptian blood will prevail, as it has always 
done. Even in the case of Syrians, Greeks, Armenians, 
and Christian foreigners in general, who intermarry with 
Copts, their offspring merges into the Egyptian type, after 
the intermarriage of two or — at the most — three consecu- 
tive generations. 

I may here observe, that the idea that foreigners in 
Egypt cannot have offspring, or rear families beyond the 
third generation, is absurdly erroneous. To prove this, by 
an instance which is quite historical, I venture to point to 
the Ptolemaic family, which came from the mountains of 
Macedonia to establish itself in Egypt, and had in itself 
another more serious reason of family decay, namely, con- 
sanguinity, — most of those kings having married their 
sisters, — and still they lived as a strong family for nearly 
four hundred years, i.e. about thirteen or fourteen genera- 
tions. For an explanation of the difficulty of rearing 
families in Egypt from the time when the Turkish slaves 
took the reins of government, practically from the ninth 
century, we must look first to their military constitution, 
then to their turbulent life and violent death, and to their 
intermarriage (when by chance they lived long enough) 
with Egyptian women, who turned their offspring into 
Egyptians and merged them into the general public, 
I am aware that the climate and the country have an 
enervating effect on foreigners, but I am convinced that by 
experience and study of the climate, the material life and 
hygienic conditions will be still further improved, and the 
scientific comforts of life will allow, as of old, foreigners to 
live here and multiply better than in many other southern 
climes. I am told that Kait Bey's family is still living, 



APPENDIX II 229 

that some Abbasicle offspring exists in Cairo, but those that 
have been pointed out to me I have found quite Egyptian in 
form, hue, and mien. One must also listen very sceptically 
when he hears that such an one is a descendant of such a 
Sultan, or of any other celebrated Mameluke. Because 
such an one holds Wakf properties, or part of them, 
entailed by tliose Sultans or Mamelukes on behalf of their 
families — this is no sufficient proof that he is a descendant 
of the said Sultan or Mameluke ; for the Wakfs are entailed, 
generally speaking, on the children, parents, Mamelukes, 
white or negro, male or female, and even servants of both 
sexes, and their offspring right to the end of all the 
branches. You will thus perceive the difficulty of going 
back to the origin of anyone existing now, through all the 
revolutionary epochs in the history of Egypt for the last 
six centuries, with such scanty means of information.^ 

3. "In 1811 a multitude was massacred in the 
Citadel by Mohammed Ali ; did many escape 
this fate, and since then are there any traces of 
their being a distinct race ? " 

At the massacre of the Mamelukes only the principal 
chiefs were killed, with their followers. I cannot tell, for 
a certainty, how many were killed, but at anyrate, from 
all that I can gather, not more than a couple of hundred, 
at the utmost, were killed in that celebrated massacre, 
including chiefs, followers, — who were Circassians by 
birth, — and their Egyptian servants and grooms. Those 
Mamelukes who were in the provinces escaped the fate. 
Many of them, who were in Cairo, were supporters of 
Mohammed Ali ; they escaped. Perhaps some thousands 

1 The Turkish poet, Fazil Bey (xviii. S.), in his Zenana Namek, 
under the title of " Egj-ptian " (women), says : " Why do they call 
Egypt ' mother of the world ' ? She is only a prostitute who has given 
herself up each century to all the nations," This fact, which is so 
conspicuous, alone accounts for not having any solidly stablished 
families besides the democratic, demagogic institution of the revealed 
religions, etc. 



230 APPENDIX II 

left the country for Syria find Upper Egypt. In that part 
of the country they retired first to Dongola, and then to 
Shendy. Some died there, whilst others took service in 
the forces of Mohammed Ali that were going to the 
Soudan in 1824. More than two thousand, under eighteen 
years of age, belonging to Mamelukes were seized as prizes 
by Mohammed Ali, according to the law prevailing then 
that everything belonging to a vanquished foe belonged by 
right to the conqueror — which principle you will find even 
in the Bible {e.g. David and his son). Those boys were 
incorporated first in Mohammed All's bodyguard as 
Mamelukes in the school at the Citadel, and afterwards 
as cadets in the regular army, started by him as early as 
1815, in the Cairo citadel, and subsequently transported 
in 1818 to Assouan, after the revolt of the Albanian 
troops against the regular army. These boys formed the 
nucleus of the officers and non-commissioned officers of 
the four regiments ready by 1824. It is believed that the 
Mameluke soldiery was about twenty thousand strong in 
the beginning of Mohammed Ali Pasha's rule. Fighting, 
death, and exile had reduced them to nothing by the time 
of the massacre, in comparison with the numbers in 
Bonaparte's time, which, it is said, amounted to forty 
thousand. One must bear in mind that owing to the 
fights and revolutions in Egypt from 1798 up to 1811, 
the import of slaves from the north had slackened, and 
also that as owing to the bankruptcy of the chief Mame- 
lukes merchants did not find it in their interest to import 
slaves, the recruiting of that soldiery had been stopped 
several years before their entire disbandment by Mohammed 
Ali in 1811. From 1824 to the present time, the army 
has been commanded by foreigners, one half of whom, at 
the very least, were Circassian Mamelukes belonging to 
the Viceregal family. You find them for the last time in 
1881, when Arabi wanted to dismiss them all from the 
army. Most of those Circassians were bought by the 
Khedive Ismail, shortly after Shamil, the great and last 
chief of the Circassians, had been captured and put to 



APPExmx II 231 

death by the Eussians. At his death a great number of 
Circassians emigrated to Turkey and Egypt, and sold their 
children. Ismail Pasha purchased a considerable number 
of them, put them in his schools, and eventually improved 
them into officers. Since a stop has Ijeen put to the slave 
trade, Mamelukes can no longer be found for sale in 
Egypt. A great many of the Mamelukes, however, are 
still living, and have posts in tlie public service. They 
are generally of Aryan extraction, — Greeks, Circassians, 
Georgians, Armenians, etc., — and have all the liberty 
enjoyed by any freeborn man. 

Nowhere in Egypt do you find any trace of foreign 
blood being paramount in the population, either in towns, 
or in the country. The foreign observer, landing in Lower 
Egypt, will at first notice the hue of the skin clearer on 
the seaside, and darker towards Cairo, Cairo being the 
centre of a great mixture of hues. To my mind, in our 
own time, as in antiquity, the Egyptian blood has been 
mixed mainly with Semitic. To the south of Cairo the 
colour gets darker and darker up to Assouan, where it is 
almost negro-hued, — the negro element getting the best of 
it in the course of a few generations. In the north of Cairo 
the colour is cleared by the mixture of Syrian, Greek, and 
Turkish blood, without the Semito-negro mixture being ever 
transformed into a pure Aryan race. An Egyptian race, 
clearly distinguishable or autochthonous, does not exist, I 
believe, at least at the present time. It is thus very diffi- 
cult to assign a colour to the Egyptian. As far as my own 
knowledge goes, two places are, however, worthy of notice, 
namely, (a) the shores of Lake Menzaleh, where one finds 
the original type of Hyksos, as shown to us by the 
monuments, with prominent cheeks, small eyes, large 
forehead, large nose and scanty beard ; (h) the north- 
west of the province of Uakahlieh, bordering the Syrian 
desert, where you find a pure, or very nearly pure, Semitic 
type,^ especially in women. As for the Egyptian type, 
as shown by the monuments, one meets witli it south of 
^ Syrian or northern Semites. 



232 APPENDIX II 

Beni Suef up to the cataracts, but all these different 
kinds are more or less tainted according to their position 
from south to north.^ 

I think I have given you an answer to each of your 
queries. I am afraid I have been too long, but you will 
excuse me, as you well know the difficulty of dealing 
briefly with these matters. 

Yacoub Artin Pasha. 

Cairo, December llth, 1895. 

1 Tlie predominant feature being more or less of the Semitic type. 



INDEX 



Abagha, Mongol leader, IS, 28, 36, 
Abbas, Caliph, nominated;Siiltan,129. 
Abbaside Caliphate, ix., xiv., xix. ; 
destroyed by Mongols, 10 ; re- 
established by Beibars, 14 ; claimed 
by Osmanlies, 213. 

Abdul Aziz, brother of Faraj, 125. 

Ablestin, Mongols defeated at, by 
Beibars, 28 ; daughter of Chief 
marries Jakmac, 152 ; Asian Chiel" 
of, 170 ; war with Egypt, 174. 

Abu Bekr, son of Nasir, 85, 87 ; put 
to death at Coss, 88. 

Abulfeda, ix. ; at battle of Merj Solfar, 
58 ; Sultan of Hamah, 84. 

Abul Mahasin, x., 134; position at 
Court, 134 ; 148 note ; value of his 
history, 187. 

Acre, fall of, xiv. See Akka. 

Adana, seized by Moslems, 97 ; taken 
by Chief of Karaman, 160 ; taken 
by the Osmanlies, 177. 

Aden, port of traffic, 141 ; embargo 
on goods, 142 ; taken by Alfonso 
Albuquerque, 192. 

Adil, brother of Saladin, xxiv. ; suc- 
ceeds him, xxvi., 7 ; extensive rule, 
xx\i. ; his sons quarrel, xxvii., 7. 

Adzerbaijan, spread of Soofeeism in, 
193. 

Aghlabites of Tripolis, 2. 

Ahmed, Sultan, son of Nasir, 84, 88 ; 
vices, 88 ; Sultan, 89 ; retires to 
Kerak, 90 ; deposed and put to 
death, 91. 



Alimed, Sultan, son of Sheikh, 134 ; 
saluted Sultan when a year and a 
half old, 137 ; deposedby Tatar,138. 

Ahmed, son of Inal, Sultan, 163 ; 
resigns, 164. 

Ahmed ibn Oweis, 114 ; at Bagdad, 
115, 119, 132. 

Ahmed Mongol, 37. 

Ahmed, son of Bajazed ii., 194, 197; 
son betrayed in Cairo, 211. 

Ain-Jahlt, battle of, 10, 11. 

Aintab threatened by Haiton, 23 ; 
attacked by Egypt, 174. 

Akberdy, Mameluke leader, ISO, 182, 
183. 

Akka, described by Wilkeu, xxx. ; 
invested by Crusaders, xxv., xxvii. 
xxviii. ; attacked by Beibars, 26 ; 
Jehad against, 39 ; invested by 
Khalil, 44 ; stormed and burned, 
XXX., 44. 

Aksonker, Regent, 90. 

Aktai, 9. 

.\kush. Governor of Damascus, 64. 

Aleppo, attacked by Raimond, xx. ; 
ravaged by Mongols, 34 ; Tiraur's 
victory at, 122 ; entered bySelim, 
200. 

Alexandria, ravaged by Venetians 
and Knights of Rhodes, 98, 99 
by Franks, 128, 136 ; tower in- 
augurated by Kaitbai, 179 ; visited 
by Selim, 210 ; canal from Fuali to, 
79. 
Alexius, Kaiser, xvi. 
Alfonso Albuquerque takes Aden, 192. 
Ali Bey, Treasurer, conspiracy of, 112. 



234 



INDEX 



All Bey reduces Janissaries, 223 ; 
dominant in Syria, 223, 226, 227. 

Al Mueyyad faction, origin of the 
name, 135. 

Altunbogha, 89 ; Regent, 134 ; sub- 
raits to Tatar, 138. 

Aly proclaimed Sultan, A.D. 1369, 
101 ; died, 103. 

Amalrich, King, invades Egypt, 
xxii., 6. 

Amasia, 195. 

Amid, capital of Kara Yelek, 144. 

Aniru conquers Egypt, 1. 

Angora, 117 ; battle of, 120. 

Antioch stormed by Crusaders, xvii. ; 
besieged by Kaiser, xx, ; Boemund 
besieged in, xxv. ; stormed by Bei- 
bars, xxix., 25; by Gliazan, 56; 
by Chief of Ablestin, 174. 

Arabi Pasha, 226, 228. 

Arabia Felix, Nasir's connection 
with, 73. 

Arabic, adopted in Egypt as ofKcial 
language, 227. 

Aradus taken by Egypt, 57. 

Archa?ological Mission, xii. 

Ardebil, 193. 

Argun, dealings with Pope, 37. 

Arish, 204. 

Arnienia, first connection of Mame- 
lukes with, 23 ; Haiton seeks aid of 
Tartars and Crusaders, ib. ; devas- 
tated from Adana to Tarsus, ib. ; 
raid by Beibars on, 27 ; oppressed 
by Kila\tun, 38 ; attacked by 
Lachin, 50 ; chastised by the Egyp- 
tian array, 57, 59 ; makes peace 
with Egypt (a Chief embracing 
Islam), 59 ; again attacked by 
Nfisir, 68 ; by Mongols, 71 ; by 
Syrian army, 71 ; Leo imprisoned, 

99 ; ceases to be a Christian State, 

100 ; persecuted, 143 ; Inal's rela- 
tions with, 160. 

Armenians slain at Kalaat Rura, 45 ; 
contingent joins Mongols, 58 ; in 
Egy})t, 228 ; Armenian Mamelukes 
in modern Egypt, 231. 

Array composed of Mamelukes, 133. 



Arragon, Court of, sends embassy to 
Egypt, 59. 

Arsuf destroyed by Beibars, 20. 

Artillery of Osmanlies, 176, 195. 

Artin Pasha, His Excellency Yacoub, 
xi., xii., 225, 

Ascalon taken by Crusaders, xxi. ; 
given lip to Saladin, xxiv. ; de- 
stroyed, xxvi. 

Asendimur, Governor of Hama, 63, 68. 

Ashrafite party, 149, 150, 163, 165, 
167, 171. 

Asia Minor, how divided in fourteenth 
century, 118 ; attacked by Timur, 
120 ; again attacked by Timur, 
124; by Bursbai, 146; AVestern 
half under Osmanlies, Eastern 
half under Egypt, 146 ; Inal's 
relations with, 160; Egyptians 
devastate, 160. 

Asian, Chief of Ablestin, 174. 

Assassin Race, 70, 128. 

Assilbai, Sultanah, 185. 

Assouan, governor's cruelty, 100 ; 
Mamelukes in, 230, 231. 

Atabeg, title, xix., 107, 165. 

Ayas, in Armenia, destroyed by 
Egypt, 71. 

Ayla, xxiii., 101. 



B 



Baalbec, connection of Maerizy with, 
x.; battle of, 127. 

Bab-el-Mandeb, Straits of, 142. 

Bagdad, Caliphs of, indiflerent to 
Crusade, xviii. ; taken by Seljukes, 
xix. ; Abbaside house destroyed at, 
14 ; Governor proclaims Sultan, 98 ; 
attacked by Timur, 113; destroyed 
by Timur, 120 ; Timur again vents 
his fury on, 123; held by Ahmed 
ibn Oweis, 132. 

Bahrite Dynasty, rise of, 13. 

Bahrite Mamelukes, 5, 8. 

Bajazet, chief of Black Weir, 113, 
114. 

Bajazet, Osmanly, his conquests, 
118 ; addressed by Timur, 119 ; 



IXDEX 



235 



defeated at Angora, 120 ; las 
" cage," ib. 

Bajazet ii., defeats Jem, 176; hos- 
tility to Egypt, 177 ; insulted by 
Ismail Shah, 193; arrests aud 
exiles Sooties, 194. 

Baldwin, lights Tancred, xviii.; de- 
feated by Moslems, xix. ; breaks 
truce with Moslems, xxi. 

Baroudi family, 226. 

Bedouins, hostilities with Egypt, 39, 
57, 100 ; overrun Egypt, 160, 170, 
171, 173, 186 ; pursued byTuman- 
bai, 186 ; attack Kcrak and 
Jerusalem, 190; help Tumanbeg 
against Turks, 206 ; Bedouin chief 
betrays Tumanbeg to Turks, 208 ; 
roving habits, 221. 

Beibars i., early history of, 13, 29, 
30; defeats Franks at Joppa, xxix., 
8 ; flies from Eibek, 9 ; bravery 
of, 11 ; kills Kotuz, 11 ; succeeds 
to Sultanate as first of Mameluke 
dynasty, xxix., 11, 14; destroys 
Crusaders' stronghold, xxix.; cru- 
elty to Christians, ib. ; wise admi- 
nistration, 14 ; re-establishes Cali- 
phate, 14, 16, 213, 214 ; treachery 
and cruelty of, 17, 22, 27, 31 ; 
alliances, 18, 19; grants fietfs in 
Palestine, 20 ; four campaigns 
against Crusaders, 19-25 ; bridges 
over Jordan, 21 ; besieges Safed, 
22; attacks Armenians, 23; storms 
Shekif and Jaffa, 25 ; destroys 
Antioch and wars against the 
Crusaders, 25 ; captures Akkar, 
26 ; fits out a fleet against Cyprus, 
26 ; treaty with Tyre and Akka, 
26 ; last campaign, 28 ; his 
faithlessness, 29 ; death, ih.; per- 
son and habits, 30 ; extent of 
dominions, ih.; family, 31 ; buried, 
32. 

Beibars ii.. President of Palace, 53 ; 
attacks Bedouins, 57 ; attitude 
towards Christians, 60 ; opposes 
Sallar, 61 ; first Sultan of Circas- 
sian birth, 63 ; sues for Nasir's 



pardon, 65 ; is imprisoned at Ga/.a, 
65 ; cruel end, 66. 

Berbers, their connection with the 
Fatimide Caliphs, 2. 

Berekh, Prince of Kiptchak, IS. 

Berekh (Mameluke), supreme in 
Cairo, 102 ; defeated byBcrkuck, 
and deatli, ii. 

Berkuck, Sultan, x. ; origin and rise> 
98, 105, 106 ; with Berekh supreme 
in Cairo, 102 ; defeats Berekh and 
puts him to death, ih. ; deposes 
Hajy, 103 ; attair with Caliph, 106 ; 
prisoner at Kerak, 107 ; escapes to 
Syria, 108 ; advances on Cairo and 
again proclaimed Sultan, 109; 
attacks Mintash, 110; puts 
Yelbogha to death. 111 ; plotted 
against by Ali Bey, 112 ; fears the 
memlukes, 113 ; communications 
with Timur, puts Timur's mes- 
senger to death, 114 ; marches to 
Damascus and Aleppo, dies, 115 ; 
tastes and character, ih. ; his tomb, 
116 ; sepulchre visited, 135. 

Beshtak, 81 note, 85, 87. 

Bernard preaches Second Crusade, xxi. 

Bertram of Ghibelet, 39. 

Beyrut taken by Crusaders, xxvi. ; 
slaughter at, 44 ; burned by 
Cyprians, 128. 

Bilbeis, 205. 

Birkat al Hajj, 205. 

Black Death, The, 94. 

Black Weir, 118, 124, 132, 146, 160, 
193. 

Blue River, 28. 

Boemund, besieged in Antioch, xxv.; 
attacks Hims, 21 ; attacked by 
Beibars, 25 ; admitted to truce, 
35 ; his sister claims the succes- 
sion, 39 note. 

Bokhary, Traditions of, 145 note. 

Bonaparte's time, Mamelukes in, 230. 

Boulak, 227. 

Brousa, Osmanly capital, 117. 

Bu Khalil, 102 note. 

BA Said, relations with Xasir, 69. 

Bulgaria, route of Crusaders, xv. 



236 



indp:x 



Burjites, o, 40, 48, 53. 

Burjite Dynasty, rise of, 103. 

Burkhardt, 27 note. 

Bursbai, major-domo, 138 ; Sultan, 
ib. ; seizes and imprisons Jani 
Beg, 139 ; edicts against Jews and 
Christians, 139, 147 ; treachery 
of, 140 ; attacks pirates, ib. ; 
destroys Eoha, 143 ; alliance with 
Morad, 146 ; beats back Jani Beg 
and Dulgadir Chiefs, 146 ; dies, 
Ih, ; liis failings, 147. 



C 



Ciesarea besieged, xxii., 20, 29, 160 ; 
Egyptians defeat Turks at, 178. 

Cairo, 2, 3 ; Saladin's capital, 7 ; 
attacked by Pelagius and Louis, 
xxvii., 8 ; plague in, 49, 147 ; Black 
Deatli, 94 ; attacked, 126 ; sacked 
by Turks, 205, 210 ; sinks to 
provincial town, 211. 

Caliphate of Bagdad, xviii.; indif- 
ferent to Crusades, ib. ; iiile over 
Egypt, 1 ; connection with rise of 
Mamelukes, 3 ; fall of, 3, 14 ; in- 
Huenceon Egypt, 8 ; re-established 
by Beibars, 14, 16. 

Calipliate, Egyptian, a shadow, 16, 64 ; 
Caliph banished to Upper Egypt, 
84; prestige abroad, 91 ; Caliph 
appointed Sultan, 129 ; deposed, 
130; follows Sultan in military ex- 
peditions, 132 note ; sent a prisoner 
to Alexandria, 157 ; improved posi- 
tion under later Mamelukes, 157 
note ; goes over to Selim, 199 ; 
public i^rayer of for do., 205; 
greater prominence under Turks, 
206 ; accompanies Selim to Con- 
stantinople, 210 ; end of, 212 ; 
office given up to Osmanlies, 213 ; 
liaseless assumption of, by Ottoman 
Sultans, 214. 

Caliphate, P'atimide. See Fatimide. 

Camel, parading on, description of 
the torture, 102 note. 



Castile, Kilawun treats with, 38. 

Catapults used at siege of Akka, 44. 

Charizmian hordes, xxix., 7. 

Charlotte, Queen of Cyprus, 159, 160. 

Chateauroux devastated by Egyi>- 
tians, 152. 

Children's pilgrimage, xxvii. 

Christian wife of Abagha, 37. 

Christians, favoured by Zenky, xx. ; 
well-treated by Saladin and Adil, 
xxiv., XXV.; at Jerusalem slain by 
Charizmians, xxix.; at Damascus, 
11 : at Cairo, 15 ; oppressed by 
Beibars, 19 ; led in triumph, 20 ; 
restrictions ou, 21, 59, 136 and 
note, 139, 154, 159 ; favoured by 
Argun, 37 ; missionaries received in 
Persia, 37 note ; Kilawun intolerant 
to, 38, 40, 41 ; indignities offered 
to, 44 ; protection of, proclaimed 
by Mongols, 54 ; slain at Aradus, 
57 ; populace attack, 60 ; edict 
against, ib.; persecuted, 68, 74, 75, 
76 ; treatment by Nasir, 76 ; by 
Teugiz, 77 ; in Damascus, 83 ; ill- 
treated by Salih, 96 ; abused by 
Yelbogha, 99 ; persecuted, 180, 
192, 220 ; in Armenia, 143 ; 
Copts, exactions on, 147 ; iu 
modern Egypt, 228. 

Cilicia attacked, 99. 

Circassian, origin of Burjite ]\Iame- 
lukes, 5 ; Kegent, 92 ; dynasty, 
103 ; long tenure of the throne, 
164, 184, 185 ; memlukes, 93, 
107, 125 ; slaughtered by Turks, 
205 ; by Mahomet Ali, 224, 229 ; 
oilicers in Egyj)tian army, 230. 

Circassians emigrate to Turkey and 
Egypt in modern times, 231 ; 
recent nationalisation of, in Egypt, 
227, 228. 
Clement v. , Pope, 69 note. 

Coeur-de-Lion, xxv. 
Colleges, Al Azhar, 2 ; erected by 
Kilawun, 41 ; founded by Sheikh, 
136 ; by Kansowa al Ghury, 206. 
Commerce of the East, revival of, 141. 
Conrad heads tlie Second Crusade, 



INDEX 



237 



xxi.; attacked by Cceur-do-Liou, 

XXV, 

Constantinople, besieged by the 
Crusaders, xxvi. ; besieged by 
Bajazet, 119 ; becomes Turkish 
capital, 160. 

Copts, 216 ; depressed condition of, 
220 ; intermarriage with, 228. 

Coran, Othman's, at siege of Dam- 
ascus, xxi. note ; 186 note ; 190. 

Council of Placenza, xv. ; of Cler- 
mont, ib. 

Crusades, the, connection of Mame- 
luke dynasty with, xii. ; First 
Crusade, xvi. ; causes of failure, 
xvii. ; Second Crusade, xxi. ; Third, 
xxii. ; defeated by Saladin, xxiv. ; 
Fourth Crusade, xxv. ; Fifth, xxvi. ; 
Sixth, ii. ; Seventh, xxvii. ; last 
Crusade and loss of Antioch, xxix. ; 
end of Crusade, xxx., 44 ; cause 
of failure, xxx. ; effect of, on Europe, 
xxxi, ; Crusaders friendly with 
Mongols, 19 ; vindictive treatment 
by Kilawun, 40 ; by Khalil, 44, 46 ; 
remnant destroyed at Aradus, 27. 

Currency arrangements by N^sir, 
55 note ; by Sheikh, 135. 

Cyprus, Cyprians attack Egypt, 
98 ; burn Beyrut, 128 ; defeated 
at Larnaca, 141 ; Bursbai attacks 
island, 140 ; it becomes tributary, 
141 ; rebellion in, 159 ; expeditions 
against, 159, 168, 169. 



D 



Dakalieh, province of, Semitic type 
of race in, 231. 

Damascus, never taken by Crusaders, 
xviii. ; attacked by Zenky, xx. ; be- 
sieged by Crusaders, xxi. ; taken by 
Nureddin, xxi.; by Mongols, 10; 
spared by Ghazan, 54 ; panic on ap- 
proach of Mongols, 58 note ; rebels 
against Faraj, 121 ; attacked and 
sacked by Timur, 119, 122, 123 ; 
viceroyalty of, sold, 170; Kan- 



sowa enters in state, 197 ; taken 

by Selim, 200. 
Damietta, defence by Saladin, xxii. ; 

besieged in Sixth Crusade, xxvii.; 

attacked by Louis, xxix. 
Danit, battle of, xix. 
Death-rates imposed by Kansowa al 

Ghury, 189. 
Diarbckr overrun by Selim, 195. 
Dietrich of Flanders joins Crusade, 

xxii. 
Dilghadir, Chief of, 100, 145, 146, 

152, 170, 195. 
Dongola, battle of, 28 ; Mamelukes 

retire to, in modern times, 230. 
Druses attacked by Egypt, 59 ; 

rising of, 72 ; tenets of, ib. 
Duties on trade imposed by Kini- 

sowa al Ghury, 189. 



E 



Edessa, xvii. ; stormed by Zenk}^, xx. ; 
independence of, xxxi. 

Edward ii., 69 note, 

Egypt, conquered by Amru, 1 ; by 
the Fatimides, 2 ; invaded by Bald- 
win, xviii. ; invaded by Nureddin 
and by Amalrich, xxii., 6 ; Saladin 
and Adil succeed to power in, xxii. 
et.seq. ; Selim's designs against, 195 ; 
spoiled by the Turks, 211 ; Pasha 
sent yearly from Constantinople, 
212 ; recent commingling of races 
in, 227-9 ; adaptibility of for- 
eigners to residence in, 228 ; ethno- 
logy of, 227-231 ; predominance 
of Semitic blood, 231, 

Eibek, Sultanate of, 8 ; defeats 
Nasir, 9 ; death, ib. 

Emessa, 11. 

Endowments (Carat), 51 note. 

Ertogral, Chief of the Ogus, 117. 

Erzengan, Chief of, 119, 120; battle 
of, 146. 

Extravagance, in Nasir's Court, 81, 
82 ; of Shaban's CoiU't, 92, 93 ; 
of Bursbai, 147. 



238 



INDEX 



Eyyub, Sultan, xxviii., 7. 
Eyyubite Sultanate, xii. ; fall of, 
3, 8. 



F 



Famine, 49, 50 ; Nasir's measures in, 
79, 101 ; Sheikh's measures in, 135 ; 
in Bursbai's reigu, 144 ; in Kaitbai's 
reign, 178. 

Faraj, Sultan, x., 115, 121 ; fights 
Timur, 122, 123 ; sends gifts to 
Timur, 124 ; unhappy rule, 125 ; 
cruelties, 126, 128 ; yearly cam- 
paigns in Syria, 127 ; defeated at 
Baalbec, ih. ; surrenders, ih. ; 
strikes his image on coin, 128. 

Fatimide Caliphate, origin, 2 ; hold 
Jerusalem, xvii. ; fall of, xiv, , xxii. ; 
defeat Aghlabites, 2 ; conquer 
Egypt and Southern Syria, 2 ; 
remove seat at Cairo, 2 ; fall into 
hands of Turkish Viziers, 2 ; con- 
nection -with Mamelukes, 3 ; end 
of, 7. 

Fazil Bey, poet, quoted, 229 note. 

Female society, state of, under 
Nasir's reign, 83 note, 88 note. 

Ferghana lineage of Ibn Toghej. 2. 

Fostat, Mosque of, 1, 2 note. 

Frederick li. crowned King of 
Jerusalem, xxviii. 

Fuah Canal, 79. 

Fulco, King, xx. 



G 



Gabarti quoted, 226. 

Gallipoli, 118. 

Gaza, visited by Black Death, 94 

note ; battle of, 109 ; taken by 

Turks, 203 ; massacre at, 204. 
Genoa, Kilawun makes commercial 

arrangements with, 38. 
Georgia, Adil extends rule to, 

xxvi., 7. 
Georgian contingent joins Mongols, 

58; in modern Egypt, 231. 



Ghazau, ruler of Persia. 50 ; advance 
of against Nasir, 54 ; retires, 55 ; 
embassies to England and France, 
56, 57 ; dies, 59 ; character, ih. 

Ghorians, xix. 

Godfrey elected King, xvii. 

Gold, fall of value, 55 ; rating of, 
135. 

Grandmaster of Templars taken cap- 
tive at Hittin, xxiv. ; tries to save 
Akka, XXX.; shelters Jem, 177. 

Greeks oppose Crusaders, xxv. , xxvi. ; 
G. Mamelukes, 165, 231. 

Grenada, 179. 

Guzerat, sovereigns of, seek help from 
Egypt against Portuguese fleet, 191. 



H 



Haiton, King of Armenia, defeated 
by Beibars, 23 ; submits, 24. 

Hajy succeeds to throne, is slain, 91, 
93. 

Hajy II., Sultan, 103; deposed, ih.; 
restored, 107 ; resigns, 109. 

Hakeni, Fatimide Sultan, xv. 

Hamah, Abulfedamade Sultan of, 84. 

Harini besieged by Armenians, 23 ; 
Beibars retires on, 28. 

Hasan the Greater, 70 ; the Less, ib. 

Hasan, Sultan, 93 ; defeats Yemen 
troops and Turcomans, 95 ; de- 
posed and confined, ib. ; re- 
appointed, 96 ; imiirisoned, 97. 

Hawks, Nasir's love of, 82, 

Hebron visited by Beibars, 21 ; by 
Kaitbai, 179. 

Hejaz invaded by Rainald, xxiii. 

Henry vi. , xxvi. 

Hims attacked by Boemund, 21 ; 
battle of, 36. 

Hittin, battle of, xxiv. 

Holagu, 10 ; cruel capture of Damas- 
cus, 10 ; destroyed the Abbaside 
Caliphate at Bagdad, 14. 

Honfroi, xxiii. 

Horses, prices given by Nasir, 82 
note. 



INDEX 



239 



Hoseiu tlie Kurd, Admiral, 191. 
Hospital erected by Kilawiin, 41 ; 

founded by Sheikh, 136. 
Hospitallers quarrel with Templars, 

xxix. ; defend Arsuf, 20 ; attacked 

by Kilawun, 35. 
Hungary, on Crusaders' route, xv. ; 

Bajazet pushes his army to border 

of, lis. 
Hyksos, Egyptian type of feature, 

231. 



1 



Ibn Ayas, ix., x., 49 note, 83 note, 
184 note, 187 note, 190 note. 

Ibn Batuta, ix. 

Ibn Khallican, the historian, 34. 

Ibn Toghej, 2. 

Ibn Toghluk, his embassy to Egypt, 
73, 91. 

Ibn Tulun, 1. 

Ibrahim, son of Sultan Sheikh, 
campaign in Asia Minor, 133. 

Ibrahim Sheikh, supported by Eng- 
land, 224. 

Ikshidite line, 2. 

Ilghazy takes Antioch, xix. 

Ilkhan Dynasty, 59 ; Ilkhan Oweis, 
98. 

Import duties under Bursbai, 
142. 

Inal, besieges Rhodes, 152 ; Sultan, 
157, 158, 160; foreign relations, 
160 ; rejoices at Byzantine con- 
quest, 161 ; death, 162. 

Inalites, 167. 

Income-tax, 188. 

Indian Embassies, 73, 91, 177. 

Ismail, Khedive, 230. 

Ismail Pasha, 227. 

Ismail Shah, the Safyide, 193; zealot 
of Soofie sect, 193 ; embassy to 
Venetians, 194 ; opposes Porte and 
champions Soofieites, 195 ; de- 
feated, 195; coalesces (secretly) with 
Sultan, 196 ; legal pronouncement 
against, 198. 



Ismail, Sultan, 90, 91. 

Ismail, uncle of Eyyub, xxviii. 

Ismailians, 2 note. 

Ismailites, in Syria, 26 ; subject to 
Egypt, 27. 

Itilmish, Chief of Van, 122 • re- 
leased by Faraj, 124. 

Itmish, 115. 



J 



Jakam, Emir, and Sultan oJ' Syria, 

126. 
Jakmac, 148, 149 ; Sidtan, 150 ; 
fights Franks, 151 ; welcomes em- 
bassy from Shah Rookh, 153 ; a 
pattern Mussulman, 154 ; zeal and 
learning, ih. 
James ii., Archbishop of Nikosia, 

159. 
Jan Belat, Sultan, 185; swears on 
Coran, 185, 186 note ; beheaded 
at Alexandria, 185 ; interred at 
Cairo, 188. 
Jan Berdy, 199, 203; beaten at 
Gaza, 204 ; opposes Selmi at 
Ridanieh, 207 ; goes over to him, 
ih. ; governor of Syria, 210 ; rebels 
against Porte and forfeits his life. 
212. 

Jani Beg, Regent, 138 ; imprisoned 
at Alexandria, 139; escapes, ib.; 
reappears, 145 ; put to death, 146. 

Jani Beg (second), distinguished 
supporter of Khushcadam, 165 ; 
Khushcadam putshim to death, 166 ; 
mcmlukes resent his death, 168, 
171. 

Janim, nominated Sultan, 163, 164 ; 
deposed, 165 ; flies, ih.; dies, ib. 

Janissaries, insolence of, 211 ; 
reduced by Ali Bey, 223. 

Janus, King of Cyprus, taken 
prisoner, 141 ; ransomed, lb. ; 
vassal of Sultan, 141. 

Jebela, 72. 

Jedda, 141, 142, 165, 191. 

Jelbai, Sultan, 172. 



240 



INDEX 



Jem, rebels against Bajazed, 17t). 
177 ; received by Pope, 177 ; 
poisoned, ih. 
Jerusalem, King of, xiv. ; taken by 
Seljukes, xv. ; by Crusaders, xvii. ; 
attacked, xxi. ; taken by Saladiii 
and desecrated, xxiv.; given over 
to Frederick ii., xxviii. ; attacked 
by Mongols, xxviii. note ; des- 
troyed by Charizmians, 7 ; visited 
by Beibars, 21 ; by Sheikh Sultan, 
132 ; by Kaitbai, 179, 190. 

Jews, attacked by Crusaders in 
Germany, xvi., xxi.; attacked also 
by Egyptians, 11 ; join in proces 
sion of Abbaside Caliph, 15 ; 
persecuted by Beibars, 31 note ; 
favoured by Argun, 37 note ; pro- 
tected by Ghazan, 54 ; restrictions 
and edicts against, 59, 136, 139, 
147 note, 154, 180, 220. 

Jizeh, 206. 

John I. of Castile, 99 note. 

John, King, adverse to advance on 
Cairo, xxvii. 

Joppa, battle of, xxix., 8. 

Jordan, bridge of Beibars, 21 ; stop- 
page of stream, 21 note ; bridged 
)iy Berkuck, 116 note. 

.Toscelin, xx. 

Joscelin ii. dies in prison, xxi. 



Kaaba curtain, 144, 145 ; hung by 

Shah Rookh, 153. 
Kairowan, Aghlabites of, 2. 
Kaitbai, 167 ; Sultan, 173 ; cruelty, 

174, 175, 180; receives Jem, 176; 

supports Dulgadir, 178 ; travels 

and character, 179, 180, 181 ; 

visits Mecca and Jerusalem, 179 : 

dies, 180 ; descendants, 228, 229. 
Kalaat Rum, stormed, 45 ; Weir 

hordes fight at, 132. 
Kamil, xxviii. 
Kansowa al Ghury, Sultan, 187 ; 

brilliant Court, 189 ; maritime pro- 



ceedings against Portuguese, 191 
relations with Ismail Safyide, 194 
dies fighting against Selim, 199 
character, 201. 

Kansowah Khamsmieh, 180 ; Atabeg, 
182, 183. 

Kansowah, surname, 182. 

Kara Sonkor, governor of Aleppo, 
63, 68, 70. 

KaraYelek, 126, 143, 144, 146. 

KaraYusuf, 132, 133, 134. 

Karaman, Chief of, 145, 160, 169. 

Kausun, Emir, 81 note, 85, 87, 88, 



Keisar, relations with Crusaders, xvi., 
XX.; joins in attack on Aleppo, 
XX.; Beibars makes friends with, 
IS ; Murad slain while fighting, 118. 

Kemisbogha, governor of Cairo, 110 
note. 

Kerak, Prince of, attacks Egypt, 9 ; 
stormed by Beibars, 18, 33, 35, 
90, 91, 190. 

Kesrawan, 59. 

Ketbogha. Emir, 46 ; deposes Nasir, 
47 ; deposed by Lachin, 47 ; 
Sultan, 48 ; resigns, 49. 

Ketbogha, Mongol, 10 ; slain, 11. 

Khalil, Sultan, 42 ; kills Vizier, 43 ; 
cruel character, 43, 46 ; destroys 
Akka and ends Crusade, 44 ; 
assassinated, 45, 46. 

Kharput, 170. 

Khedive Ismail, 230. 

Kheirbeg, Emir, 172, 173. 

Kheirbeg, governor of Aleppo, 198 ; 
joins Selim, 200 ; governor of 
Egypt, 210, 211. 

Khushcadam, 163 ; Sultan, 164 ; 
cruel treatment of Jani Beg, 166, 
171. 

Kilawun, 9, 33 ; Sultan, 34 ; attacks 
Mongols, 35 ; ojiposes Crusaders, 
38 ; Jehad on Akka, 39 ; character, 
40, 41 ; benevolent institutions, 
41 ; family, 42 ; dynasty ends, 
103. 

Kiptchak, Prince of, 18, 37, 50, 51, 55. 

Kirkmash, 149, 150. 



INDEX 



241 



Knights Templars and Hospitallers, 
xxiv., xxix. ; cruelly treated by 
Khalil, 44; of Rhodes attack Egypt, 
98, 152. 

Konieh besieged by Egypt, 160. 

Kotlubogha, 88, 89, 90. 

Kotlushah commands Mongols, 57. 

Kotuz, Vicegerent, 9 ; Sultan, 10 ; 
campaign in Syria, 1 1 ; killed by 
Beibars, ih. 

Kujuk, Sultan, 87 ; deposed, 88 ; 
strangled, 92. 



Lachin, Regent, 47 ; Sultan, 49 ; 

attacks Armenia, 50 ; assassinated, 

51, 52, 164 note. 
Lahijan, 193. 

Larnaca plundered, 140, 141. 
Latakia seized by Ivilawun, 38. 
Library, public, at Cairo, 41. 
Limasol plundered and burned, 140, 

141. 
Lorenzo of Almeida defeated at sea, 

192. 
Louis IX., or Saint Louis, xxi., xxix. ; 

attacks Damietta and taken 

prisoner, xxix., 8. 
Lydda, bridge of, 21. 



M 



Macrizy, historian, x., 100, 134, 136, 
142, 145, 148, 187. 

Mahomet Aly, 224, 227 ct Mq. 

Malatia, 68. 

Mamelukes, 1 ; rise of, 4, 215 ct seq. ; 
segregation, 216, 219, 225 et seq.; 
relation to Egyptians and sub- 
sequent history, 23, 225 ct seq. 

Mangii, 10. 

Manuel, sea exploits, 192. 

Marash, 145. 

Massissah, 27 ; seized by Moslems, 97. 

Mecca, attacked by Rainald, xxiii.; 
Yemen contests for its supremacy, 
i6 



40 ; Nasir's interest in, 71, 72 ; 
embellished by Nasir, 80, 81 ; 
victory over Yemen troops at, 95 ; 
Hasan defeated at, 96 ; rebellion 
at, 141 ; commercial centre, 142 ; 
repair of water-courses, 177 ; Kaitbai 
visits, 179 ; beautified by Kan- 
sowa, 189 ; disorder at, 190, 191 ; 
passes into Osmanly hands, 192. 

Medina, xxiii., 71, 72; mosque 
destroyed by lightning, recon- 
structed by Kaitbai, 179. 

Memluke, the name, 1 ; Bahrites and 
Burjites, 5, 8, 9, 10 ; divisions of 
memlukes, 167 ; their barbarities, 
170, 171, 178 ; succumb to plague, 
180 ; deadly strife among, ib. ; ex- 
tortion and cruelty of, 184, 198 ; 
slaughtered in Cairo by Turks, 206. 

Mengu-Timur, Abagha's brotlier, 36. 

Menkutimur, Mameluke, 50, 51. 

Merj Dabik, battle of, 199. 

Merj Soffar, battle of, 58. 

Mintash, 107, 108, 109, 110 ; cruel 
death. 111. 

Mission Archteologique, 81 note. 

Moghith, Prince of Kerak, 17. 

Mohammed i., Osmanly, 120, 131. 

Mohammed i., Sultan, 97. 

Mohammed ii.. Sultan, ISO ; his 
licentious character, 183 ; killed, 
184. 

Mohammed ii., Osmanly, 169. 

Mohammed, Sultan, son of Tatar, 
138. 

Mongols, xiv. ; invade Palestine, 
xxviii. ; attack Jerusalem, ib. ; 
overthrow Bagdad, 10 ; defeated at 
Ain-Jahlt, 10,11 ; friendly relations 
with Crusaders, 19 ; pursued by Bei- 
bars, 27; fall on Syria and Damascus, 
34,57,58; dealingswith Papacy, 37 ; 
converted to Islam, ib. ; attacked 
by Khalil, 45 ; ravages by, 53 ; 
defeat Egyptians and seize Damas- 
cus, 54 ; second inroad beaten 
back, 57, 58. 

Moors of Spain, Kaitbai's sympathy 
with, 179. 



242 



INDEX 



Mosul taken by Selim, 195 ; Zenky, 
chief of, xix. ; siibdued by Saladin, 
xxiii. 

Mucoucus, 1. 

Mueyyadites, the, 167, 172. 

Mughla Beg, Chancellor, 198. 

Mnrad, Osmanly, 118 ; Bursbai's 
alliance with, 146. 

Murrain of camel herds, 180. 

Mutawakkil, Caliph, 106; M. the last 
Caliph, 212 ; resigns title to Os- 
nianlies, 213 ; dies at Cairo, ih. 



N 



Naphtha at siege of Safed, 22. 

Naples, 19. 

Nashju, 75, 76. 

Nasir, the Eyyubite, of Syria, 8, 9 ; 
flies from the Mongols, 10. 

Nasir, son of Kilawun, 42, 47 ; second 
reign, 51-53 ; defeated by Mongols, 
54 ; but inflicts severe reprisal on 
them in turn, 58; resigns, 61, 62; 
third reign, &Q ; kills Beibars, 66 ; 
visits Mecca, 68 ; peaceful relations 
with Persia, 69 ; supports Hasan 
the Greater, 70; suppresses Druses, 
72 ; territory in North Africa, ih. ; 
relations with India, Constanti- 
nople, Pope, and France, 73; sup- 
ports Christians in Cairo, 74, 76 ; 
impartiality, 74, 75 ; marries 
Tengiz' daughter, 77 ; treacherous 
end of Tengiz, 78 ; wise measures, 
79, 83; public works, 79, 80, 81 ; 
extravagance, 81-82 ; appreciates 
learning, 84 ; his sons' vices, 84 ; 
death, 85, 219. 

Nazareth Church destroyed by Bei- 
bars, 19. 

Negro element in Egyptian popula- 
tion, 231. 

Nejimeh, Cilician fortress, 50. 

Newroz, Emir, rebels in Syria, 127 ; 
proclaims Holy war against Sheikh, 
130 ; murdered, 131. 

Nicsea taken by Crusaders, xvi. 



Nicopolis, victory of, 118. 

Nile, 63 ; Nasir's works on, 80. 

Nile, Fast at failure of, 135 ; Selim's 
bridge of boats over, 208. 

Nisibin taken by Selim, 195. 

Noweiry ix., 17, 21 and 22 note ; 
present at battle of Merj Sotfar, 58. 

Nubia, attacked by Beibars, 27 ; suli- 
jected to Egypt, 28 ; Kilawun's 
campaigns against, 39 ; Nasir's 
expedition against, 72. 

Nureddin defeats Crusaders, xx.; 
devastates Palestine, xxi.; sends 
Shirkoh to Egypt, xxii.; dies, 
xxiii. ; compared with Saladin, xxvi. 







Oeljeitu, Mongol, 37, 68, 69. 

Ogus tribe, 117. 

Omeyyad Caliphate, 213. 

Orchan, Osmanly, 117. 

Orfah, see Roha. 

Orphan Asylum of Kilawun, 41. 

Ortok, house of, xiv. ; take Antioch, 
xix. 

Osman, son of Ertogral, 117. 

Osmanly Turks, become unfriendly 
to Egypt, 100 ; dynasty, 116-118; 
besiege Constantinople, 119 ; weak- 
ened by Timur, 120 ; Egypt's 
alliance with, 146, 153 ; take 
Constantinople, 160, 161 ; attack 
Syria, 177 ; defeated at Cjijsarea, 
178 ; victory at Meij Dabik, 199 ; 
march on Cairo, 204 ; enter Cairo, 
205; rule in Egypt, 212. 

Othman, Sultan, his Greek origin, 
156 ; deposed, 157. 

Othman's copy of Coran, 186 note, 
190 ; exhibited at siege of Damas- 
cus, xxi. note. 

Ottoman. Sec Osmanly, 



Paneas, defeat of Franks at, xxiii. 



INDEX 



243 



Paolo Gierro quoted, 197. 

Papacy and Crusades, xxv. ; Pope 

supports Sixth Crusade, xxvi. ; ban 

against Frederick ir. , xxviii. ; effect 

of Crusades on, xxxii. 
Patriarch of Bagdad beheaded, 18. 
Pelagius, Cardinal, xxvii. 
Pepper monopolised by Sultan, 142. 
Persia, 51-55, 59. 
Pestilence, 144, 147. 
Peter the Herniit, xv. 
Philip of France, xxv. 
Philip the Fair, 37 note, 69 note. 
Philippopolis, 118. 
Pirates, 140. 

Plague in Cairo, 147, 159, 179. 
Poll-tax imposed on Nubia, 28. 
Pope, N^sir's dealings with, 73 ; 

keeps Jem Osmanly in durance,177 ; 

threatened by Kansowa al Ghury, 

192. 
Porte, Egypt's relations with, 169, 

174 ; embargo on goods passing 

Syrian border, 178 ; menaced by 

Ismail Shah, 194. 
Portuguese destroy Egyptian fleet. 

191, 192. 
PuUanes, xxiii. , xxv., xxviii. note. 
Pyramids, 7 ; battle at, 208 ; visited 

by Selim, 210. 



Quatremere, his translation of Ma- 
crizy, 21. 



R 



Raimond routed in Armenia, xviii. 
Raimond of Antioch, xx., xxi., xxiv. 
Rainald, xxii,, xxiii., xxiv. 
Red Sea, traffic in, 141 ; attacked by 

Portuguese, 191, 192. 
Remusat quoted, 69 note. 
Rhodes, Knights of, 98, 152, 177. 
Richard Coeur-de-liou puts Akka 

garrison to death, xxv. 



Ridanieh, battle of, 204, 205. 

Ridhwan, xviii. 

Rogers of Antioch, xix, 

Roha (Orfah or Odessa), besieged, 
143 ; Egyptian array l)caten at, 
176 ; taken by Selim, 195. 



S 



Safed, besieged, 22 ; rebuilt, 23 ; 
Governor rebels, is seized and put 
to death, 140. 

Safyide dynasty, 193. 

Safyuddin mystic, 193. 

Said, Sultan, 32. 

Saladin, xxi. note ; Lord of Egypt, 
xxii. ; victorious against Franks, 
xxiii., 7 ; slays Rainald and 
Knights, xxiv.; takes Jerusalem, 
ib. ; fighting at Akka, xxv. 

"Saladin's Tenth," xxv. 

Salahia, 204. 

Salamia, battle of, 54, 110. 

Salih, Sultan, 95, 96. 

Sallars, Regent, 53 ; attacks Bedouins, 
57 ; opposes Beibars ii., 61 ; 
cruelty and avarice, ib. ; welcomes 
back N^sir and is starved to 
death, 67 ; popularity and wealth, 
ib. note. 

Saluting Sultan, fashion of, 139. 

Samarcand, Timur carries educated 
Damascenes to, 123 ; Chief of, 
defeated by Usan Hasan, 174. 

Sawakin, See Suakin. 

Selim, Osmanly Sultan, ix., 194; em- 
bassy to Egypt, 196 ; victory at 
Merj Dabik, 199 ; enters Aleppo, 
200 ; Cairo, 204 ; occupies Citadel, 
207 ; offers terms to Tumanbeg, 
207 ; puts Emirs to death, 208 ; 
visits Pyramids, 210 ; licentious 
life in Egypt, 211. 

Seljukes, xiv., xv., xvii., xviii.; 

dynasty ends, xx., 19, 117, 118. 
Sepahies, insolence of, 211. 
Shaban, Sultan, 91 ; slain, 92, 
Shabilu II., 97 ; strangled, 101. 



244 



INDEX 



Shadibeg, General, 20S, 209. 

Shah Piookh, Timur's son, 144 ; 
claims right of Kaaba curtain, 
145 ; embassy to Cairo, 153 ; 
Queen Mother hangs Kaaba cur- 
tain, ih. 

Shamil, Circassian chief, 230. 

Sheikh, besieges Cairo, 126 ; governor 
of Tripoli, ih. ; rebels, 127 ; Sul- 
tan, 130 ; treacherous death of 
Newroz, 131 ; visits Soofie cloister, 
131 ; attacks Armenia, 132 ; ob- 
sequies, 134. 

" Sheikh-ul-Beled " title, 223. 

Shicku, 96 note. 

Shiea faith, 2 note, 15, 72 ; opposed 
by Beibars, 25 ; Timur's zeal for, 
123 ; Shieas persecuted by Selim, 
194, 195. 

Shirkoh, xxii., 0. 

Shujai, 47, 48. 

Sicily, 38. 

Sinjar, battle of, 95. 

Sis, Armenian capital, ravaged, 24, 
27 ; peace restored, 59 ; Leo 
prisoner, and Sis annexed, 99. 

Siwar of Dulgadir, 170, 171. 

Siwar of Ablestin, opposes Egypt, 
174 ; cruell}'' slain at Cairo, 175. 

Siwas, 118, 119. 

Sonkor, governor of Damascus, 34. 

Soofies, 131, 194, 195. 

Soudan, 230. 

Spain, 19. 

Suakin, 30, 72, 100. 

Sugar, monopoly, 142 ; prophylactic 
in plague, 142 note. 

Syria, xiv., 54, 55, 124-128, 221. 



Tagri Berdy, x., 115, 121, 122, 125, 

127. 
Tancred and Baldwin, xviii. ; supreme 

in Syria, ib. 
Tarsus, 97, 132, 133, 160, 174, 177. 
Tatar, 138; Regent, 137 ; kills Altun- 

bogha, Sultan, 138. 



Taxes imposed by Kansowa, 188, 189. 
Tebriz, 59 ; Timur winters at, 120 ; 

battle, 195. 
Tell Hamdun fortress, 59. 
Templars, slain by Saladin, xxiv. ; 
internal dissensions among, xxix. ; 
make a stand at Akka, xxx. ; 
two thousand beheaded by Beibars, 
22 ; their Armenian stronghold 
stormed, 24 ; attacked by Nasir, 57. 
Tengiz, Governor of Damascus, 76 ; 
Nasir marries daughter, 77 ; put 
to death, 78 ; his daughter and 
grandson, 95. 
Tertosa (Tartus), 57 note. 
Timur or Tamerlane, 113 ; his mes- 
senger put to death, 114 ; attacks 
Syria, 119, 122 ; and Bajazet in 
Asia Minor, 120 ; victory at 
Aleppo, 122, 123 ; sacks Damas- 
cus, 123 ; embassy, 124 ; his 
widow in Egypt, 153. 
Timurboga, Sultan, 172, 173. 
Timurtash, Emir, 127, 130. 
Timurtash, Mongol, 69 ; his son 

Hasan the Less, 70. 
Tokat, 118. 
Trade, interfered with by Bursbai, 

143 ; by Jakmac, 153. 
Tripolis, xxix,, xxxi., 25, 39 note, 

72, 126, 128, 203. 
Tulunides, 2. 

Tumanbai, 184 ; Sultan, 185 ; mur- 
dered, 188. 
Tumanbeg, Governor, 197 ; Sultan, 
202, 203 ; beaten by Turks, 205, 
206 ; battle at the Pyramids, 208 ; 
hanged, 209 ; high character, ib. 
Tunis, xxix., 73. 
Turan Shah, Sultan, xxix., 8. 
Turcomans, xix., xx., 3, 5, 73, 95, 

117, 118, 133. 
Turkish abolished as ofBcial lan- 
guage, 227. 
Turks. See Osmanlies. 
Tushtumur, 89 ; beheaded, 90. 
Tushtumur, Prime Minister, 101, 

102. 
Tyre, xix. ; Beibars' treaty with, 26. 



INDEX 



245 



u 



Usau Hasan of the White Weir, 165, 
169, 176 ; defeated by Mohammed 
11., 176, 193. 

Uzbecs, 69, 70. 



V 

Van, Chief of, 122. 
Van, Lake, 113. 
Vasco da Gama, 191. 
Veit, King, xxiv., xxv. 
Venetians, 98, 194. 



W 



Wakf entails, 229. 

Walter, First Crusade, xv. 

Watson, Colonel, on stoppage of 

Jordan, 21. 
Weil, History of Caliphs, ix., xi., 

xiv., 22 note, 120 note, 184 note. 
Weir hordes. Black Weir, 118, 124, 

132, 146, 160, 175, 193 ; White 

Weir, 118, 126, 132, 143, 160, 165, 

193. 



Wilken's History of Cmsades, xiii., 
xxx., 39 note. 



Yelbogha alJahjawy, FAmr, 97, 98, 99. 

Yelbogha al Nasiry, Atabeg, 107, 
108, 110, 111. 

Yemen, embassies from, 38 ; de- 
feated at Mecca, 95 ; seeks help 
against Portuguese, 191. 

Yenbo, risings at, 190. 

Yurat leaders, 54. 

Yusuf, Sultan, 148, 149. 



Z 



Zahir, last Abbaside Caliph, 213. 

Zahirites, 35, 157, 163, 165, 1G6 
pitted against Ashrafites, 167 ; in 
fluence in appointing Sultan, 172. 

Zenky defeats Crusaders, xix., xx. 
storms Edessa, xx. 

Zion, Prior of, 192. 



ERRATA 

p. 73, 1. 15, margin, /<;r 1381, read 1330. 
P. 102, 1. 16, for Berkuck, read Berekh. 
P. 209, 1. 15, fm- Tunianbai, recul Tumanbe' 



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